World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey accused Libya on Tuesday of targeting its companies there after the internationally recognised government said it would cancel contracts of Turkish businesses operating in the troubled north African state.
Libya's beleaguered official government, which only controls eastern parts of the country, announced a ban on Turkish firms after accusing Ankara of supporting the rival administration that seized control of the capital Tripoli last summer.
"The decision to bar Turkish companies ... carries no value, considering the political and security crisis Libya has been going through and the debate regarding legitimacy," Tanju Bilgic said in an emailed statement.
But Libya's Tripoli-based government has dismissed a ban on Turkish companies imposed by the rival government based in Tobruk, saying such a ban could only be applied in the latter government's area of control in the country's east.
"The Tobruk government is using the issue of Turkish companies as a pressure tool to achieve political goals," Omar Hussein Baio, spokesman for the Tripoli government, told The Anadolu Agency.
The ban, he said, could only be applied in the Libya's eastern region, which is controlled by troops loyal to the Tobruk-based cabinet.
Last week, Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni warned Turkey of measures that could be potentially taken against Turkish companies due to what he described as Turkish "interference" in Libya's affairs.
This interference, al-Thinni said at a press conference, "negatively impacts Libya's security and stability."
Last week, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said his country's support for Libya since the country's 2011 revolution had "always been clear," especially in the form of Turkish support for Libya's reconstruction efforts and the development of the country's state institutions.
Turkey has close historic ties with Libya and Turkish businesses have traditionally had a strong presence there. But the country has been riven with conflicts since the toppling of strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Libya has remained in a state of turmoil since a bloody uprising ended the decades-long rule of autocratic leader Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011.
Since then, sharp political divisions have yielded two rival seats of government in the country, each of which has its own institutions.
Vying for legislative authority are the House of Representatives, which convenes in Tobruk, and the General National Congress, which – even though its mandate has ended – continues to convene in Tripoli.
The two assemblies support two different governments, respectively headquartered in the two cities. Both have substantial military capacities.
Last Mod: 24 Şubat 2015, 14:07