Turkey will continue to defend its rights and interests in Iraq, Syria, and the Mediterranean, President Erdogan says, adding Ankara dispatched forces to Libya "to resolve injustice and persecution."
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said Ankara would continue defending its rights and interests, adding that the country's future and security began far beyond its borders.
Turkey will continue to defend its rights and interests in Iraq, Syria and the Mediterranean, Erdogan said in the capital Ankara at an event for the disabled as well as children under government protection.
Referring to joint plans with Libya to send Turkish troops to the northern African country, Erdogan said, "We are in these lands [Libya], where our ancestors made history because we were invited there to resolve injustice and persecution."
He said Turkey would provide "the best response" to those who did not understand that the country's security began beyond its borders, slamming criticism against the decision.
Turkish troops in Libya
On January 2, Turkey's Parliament passed a motion allowing the government to send troops upon a request by Libya's UN-backed government, which has been besieged by warlord Khalifa Haftar's illegal militia.
Haftar's militia, backed by Egypt and the UAE, has made significant advances in recent weeks.
In April, Haftar's militia launched a military campaign to capture Tripoli from the internationally recognised government.
Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
On Wednesday, however, Russia and Turkey sought immediate ceasefire between all warring sides starting from Sunday [January 12] at midnight.