In late November, Turkey and the Tripoli-based Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) signed a memorandum on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea, prompting an outcry from several countries in the region. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Tobruk-based Libyan parliament, Aguila Saleh Issa, called the document illegal.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Ankara could send troops to Libya if such a request is made by the Libyan government.

"If the Libyan people and their government send such a proposal [on sending Turkish troops to Libya], we will have the right [to do it]...The UN introduced a ban on the sale of arms to Libya. Nonetheless, sending the military to Libya cannot be regarded within its framework. If such a proposal is received, Turkey itself will decide, it will not ask anyone for permission", Erdogan said in an interview with the Turkish TV channel, TRT.

Regarding the memorandum, Erdogan said that Ankara was set to acquire another drillship for its exploration activities in the Mediterranean.

Moreover, the president stated that the country would carry out drilling activities also in the Black Sea and even in international waters.

"Greek Cypriots, Egypt, Greece and Israel cannot establish a natural gas transmission line without Turkey’s consent", Erdogan said.

The president also stated that other countries could not conduct exploration activities in the areas marked in the Turkey-GNA maritime memorandum.

After Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown and killed in 2011, Libya ceased functioning as a unified state. Two rival governments — the internationally-recognized GNA and the Libyan National Army — have split the country into two parts.