Published: January 15, 2020
Foreign critics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan deride him as a quasi-dictatorial megalomaniac. But Erdogan, who was Turkey's prime minister for 11 years before being elected president in 2014, is now a reckless gambler, too. In short order, Turkey will send troops to Libya at the request of the United Nations-backed Government of National Accord, which has been besieged in Tripoli for the last eight months by the advancing forces of Gen. Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army.
Erdogan already has the distressing example of the Syrian conflict on Turkey's own doorstep. Does he really imagine that sending a few hundred -- or even many thousand -- Turkish troops to aid the beleaguered GNA will somehow resolve Libya's tragic and bloody turmoil, itself the result of the 2011 intervention by foreign powers that toppled Moammar Gadhafi's regime?
When the AKP came to power in Turkey almost two decades ago, Erdogan's mentor was Ahmet Davutoglu, an academic who then became foreign minister and eventually prime minister.
How ironic, then, that Erdogan has created problems with almost all of his neighbors.
True, Erdogan's supporters can justifiably argue that Turkey has become a regional player to be reckoned with.