by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - MPs in Turkey passed a bill approving the deployment of troops to Libya last Thursday in support of the embattled UN-backed government there, shoring up a relationship that experts say is a consolidation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's idea of a "greater Turkey" resembling the Ottoman Empire.
The bill was passed with 325 Turkish lawmakers in favor and 184 against, and follows an agreement struck between Libya and Turkey on Nov. 27 that redrew the maritime borders of both countries, giving Turkey control of the Mediterranean from its southwest coast to the coast of Libya, according to state news.
“No, we control this area between Turkey and Libya, and we now cut the Mediterranean in half,” Seth Franztman of the Jerusalem Post said of the Turkish leader's rationale when the original maritime agreement was announced.
Erdogan has insisted that his intentions are purely humanitarian in the north African country that has been riven by sectarian bloodshed since dictator Muammar Gaddafi was deposed by a NATO coalition in 2011, but certain observers are calling it a sham.
Dalton Thomas of Frontier Alliance International claimed the Turkish government's "open intention is to restore the original caliphate which was disbanded in 1924," which seemed to receive confirmation when the Turkish defense minister recently posted an image to social media showing an Ottoman-esque map of modern Turkey that encompassed regions of Iraq, Greece, and Syria.