The Arab Weekly on 13th January reported that the discovery of 2 attempts, less than a month apart, to smuggle Turkish-made guns into Libya triggered hostile reactions over suspicions of Ankara’s support to extremists.  On December 18th, Libyan customs officers discovered 3,000 Turkish-made 9mm Beretta-style handguns and 2.3 million rounds of ammunition in 2 containers that had been delivered on a cargo ship from Turkey, said to contain building materials and flooring.  On January 7th, customs officials found more than 20,000 8mm Turkish handguns hidden in a container delivered from Turkey said to contain children’s toys and household goods.  The article says that even without these 2 incidents, hostility to Turkey (and Qatar) is growing.  Turkey has, with Qatar, become a sanctuary for numerous Libyan Islamist or quasi-Islamist political figures also fuelled hostility, including Abdulhakim Belhaj, the head of Libya’s al-Watan Party and owner of its pro-Islamist TV station Al Nabaa, which operates out of Turkey.  Perception of Libya’s history as a neo-Ottoman province, also appears to be building public suspicion and antagonism towards Turkey.

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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