Turkey slammed the Tobruk-based Libyan government's Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani's remarks claiming Turkey has been supplying weapons to militant groups in Libya. Turkey's Foreign Ministry released a statement on Saturday, rejecting Thani's statements as "misleading." Thani reportedly told an Egyptian TV channel called CBC late Thursday: "Turkey is a state that is not dealing honestly with us. It's exporting weapons to us so the Libyan people kill each other." The Turkish Foreign Ministry said: "It is meaningful that Thani made his remarks in a country that has well known ‘contributions' to Libya. It is obvious that Thani will not gain his needed legitimacy by being an instrument to malevolent political circles." The ministry also called on Thani to contribute to the U.N.'s efforts to bring stability to Libya. Tensions between Turkey and Thani's government, located in Tobruk, have intensified recently.
In the four years since the ouster and subsequent death of the Libyan ruler, Moammar Qadhafi, rival militias have wreaked havoc in Libya's main cities, namely in the capital Tripoli and in the eastern city of Benghazi.
The sharp political divisions have yielded two rival governments, each boasting its own institutions. Vying for legislative authority are the Tobruk-based House of Representatives and the Islamist-led General National Congress, which – even though its mandate ended last year – continues to convene in capital Tripoli. The two assemblies support two different governments, respectively headquartered in the two cities. The House of Representatives, in which Abdullah al-Thani serves as prime minister, was forced to move to the eastern part of the country after a group called "Libya Dawn" seized Tripoli in August 2014. Ankara recognizes the government in Tobruk but urges both parties to reach a consensus to form a permanent government in Libya, within the scope of U.N. negotiations. Turkey has denied supporting the "Dawn of Libya" militia, which is backed by Libya's Tripoli-based parliament and government.