In a December 11, 2019 column titled "What Business Do We Have In Libya?" in the Turkish daily Sözcü, Turkish investigative journalist Emin Çölaşan expressed his view that the Turkish government should not send troops to support the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya. He wrote: "Turkey is not a power that can send soldiers to whatever country gets in its way. Turkish soldiers are for defending the homeland."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and GNA Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj signed two memorandums of agreement on November 27 and on December 9, President Erdoğan said that if the GNA asked for Turkish soldiers to be sent to Libya, "such a call would, needless to say, bestow a right on Turkey... Turkey will decide for itself what kind of initiative it will undertake. We will not get permission from anywhere. We will make this decision ourselves." On December 15, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said: "We have said that if such a request comes from them, we will evaluate it."
Turkish investigative journalist Emin Çölaşan (source: Sozcu.com.tr).
Following are excerpts from Çolaşan's article:
"There Is Someone In Front Of Us Who Is Both The Party Leader And The President – How Can He Speak So Irresponsibly?"
"My dear readers, Turkey has become a very interesting country! Every morning when we start the day, a new surprising bit of news appears in front of us... The news that appeared from yesterday's lottery was very interesting. Our leader, who governs the world, spoke again: 'We are ready to give every kind of support to Libya. If they ask for soldiers, we will send them. We will not ask for permission from anywhere. We will make our decision ourselves. If Libya asks for soldiers, it will make this decision itself. Such a call would definitely bestow this right on Turkey.'
"Libya! But which Libya? This country has been divided in two for a long time... The two sides are fighting mercilessly. Okay, brother, if you send soldiers to Libya, what are our soldiers going to do there? Are they going to enter a bloody war being sustained between two sides? Now will the remains of martyrs come from Libya? There is someone in front of us who is both the party leader and the president. How can he speak so irresponsibly?"
"Turkey Is Not A Power That Can Send Soldiers To Whatever Country Gets In Its Way... By Now The Whole World Knows That This Government Uses Our Army For Other Purposes"
"Turkey is not a power that can send soldiers to whatever country gets in its way. Turkish soldiers are for defending the homeland. By now the whole world knows that this government acts on the whim of using our army for other purposes. Will attacks come to us from a divided Libya? If we send them, what business will our soldiers have there?
"My dear readers, Turkish soldiers are being sent for duty almost in all four corners of the world. We are on three continents, excluding America and Australia: Europe, Asia, and Africa! I will count the countries that come to my mind right away: In Europe: Bosnia, Kosovo, and Albania. In Asia: Azerbaijan, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Qatar. In Africa: Somalia, and Sudan. We are in Syria and Iraq because we are fighting terror. But I do not know why we are in the other ones. I will say this too: Our soldiers may be in other countries too, but it is impossible for us to know."
"The Pro-Government Media Uses Headlines Like: 'Turkey Is Returning To The Ottoman Soil That We Withdrew From After World War I'"
"While lavishly praising our soldiers who are sent abroad for duty, the pro-government media uses headlines like: 'Turkey Is Returning To The Ottoman Soil That We Withdrew From After World War I.' All the countries I listed above we all under Ottoman domination. There were rebellions in some of them, some of them we lost in war. We learned our lesson and were forced to shrink and return to the borders we have today.
"Now I am asking one more time, despite Mr. Recep's words: 'What business might our soldiers have in Libya, which is divided in two and is fighting itself? Whom will we serve there? Or do you want to bring upon us another curse, like Syria?'"