First group of Turkish nationals in Libya returns

Photo: First group of Turkish nationals in Libya returns / Arab World

The first group of Turkish nationals have been evacuated from Libya and returned to Turkey on Tuesday, after they were threatened with arrest over spying claims Anadolu reported

248 Turkish citizens, working for construction company GAMA in the central coast city of Sitre, have returned to Turkey by an additional Turkish Airlines flight from Misrata in northwest Libya.

"We did not have any trouble," said the crew chief Veysel Bir, speaking to the press in the airport. "We can go back in a month and a half," he added.

Fatih Aydogmus, an engineer of the company who has located in Libya for the past 14 months, explained that they were not in a life-threatening situation but left the country as a precaution. He also said he was considering returning since their projects have been left unfinished.

At the weekend, rogue former general Khalifa Haftar gave Turkish and Qatari nationals 48 hours to leave Libya, claiming some were engaged in espionage. He threatened that any remaining Turks or Qataris would face arrest by his forces.

On Monday, Libya's Foreign Ministry distanced the government from Haftar's threats and promised to protect foreign nationals.

Turkey closed its consulate in Benghazi, Libya's second city, in May and warned against travelling there due to the deteriorating security condition.

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