Turks in Libya
|(Ottoman-Turkish descendants: 1,500,000 (2015 estimate)
At least 5% of Libya's population (1936 academic estimate))
|Regions with significant populations|
Turks in Libya, also known as Libyan Turks and Turco-Libyans, (Turkish: Libya Türkleri) are the ethnic Turks who live in Libya. During the Ottoman rule of Libya, the Turks colonized and dominated the political life of the region, as a result, the ethnic mix of Libya changed with the migration of Turks from Anatolia and the evolvement of the "Kouloughlis" (also referred to as "Cologhlis") who are people of mixed Turkish and Maghrebi blood. There has also been a modern wave of migration since 1975 from Turkey.
When the Ottoman Empire conquered Libya in 1551 the Turks began migrating to the region, as a consequence, many Turkish soldiers married Arab women and their children were known as the "Kouloughlis" (also referred to as the "Cologhla", "Qulaughli" and "Cologhli").
Today there are still Libyans who regard their ethnicity as Turkish, or acknowledge their descendants to the Turkish soldiers who settled in the area during the Ottoman rule. Indeed, many families in Libya can trace their origins through their surnames. It is very common for families to have surnames that belgong to the region of Turkey that their ancestors migrated from; for example, Tokatlı, Eskişehirli, Muğlalı, and İzmirli are very common surnames.
|Emigration of Turkish workers to Libya|
There is a significant Turkish community living in the north-west of Libya. For example, many Turks settled in Misrata during the reign of Abdul Hamid II in the nineteenth century. Today the Turks form two-thirds (est.266,640) of Misrata's 400,000 inhabitants. There is also a thriving Turkish population in Tripoli.
The Ottoman Turks brought with them the teaching of the Hanafi School of Islam during the Ottoman rule of Libya which still survives among the Turkish descended families today. Examples of Ottoman-Turkish mosques include:
Associations and Organisations
Since 2011 the Türk-Libya İşbirliği (The Turkish-Libyan Cooperation) has been active. By 2015 the Libyan Turks also formed the "Libya Köroğlu Derneği" (The Libyan Kouloughlis Association), with the aim of bringing greater awareness of the existence of the Turkish minority and promoting their culture in both Libya and Turkey.
- Shaha Riza
- Ahmed Karamanli, founded the Karamanli dynasty
- Yusuf Karamanli
- Sadullah Koloğlu, former prime minister of Benghazi and Darnah (from 1949 to 1952)
- Turkish minorities in the former Ottoman Empire
- Foreign relations of Libya
- History of Libya
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- Ahmida 2009, 23.
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- Malcolm & Losleben 2004, 62.
- Sirageldin 2003, 236
- Papademetriou & Martin 1991, 123
- Ergener 2002, 76
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- Papademetriou & Martin 1991, 120.
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