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|Ottoman-Turkish descendants: 1,500,000 (2015 estimate)|
|Regions with significant populations|
Turks in Libya, also known as Libyan Turks and Turco-Libyans, (Arabic: أتراك ليبيا; Italian: Turco-libici; 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|
Libyan Turks have experienced persecution during Muammar Gaddafi's regime, as Gaddafi favored pan-Arabism and considered the minorities residing in Libya as a threat for Libya's Arabization process. Turks, among with several minority groups, had been forced to abandon their cultural traditions and enforced to behave and act like Arabs.
Khalifa Haftar's Tobruk Government recently has followed anti-Turkish sentiment and denounced Turkey for interference in Libya, raising the fears of re-persecution of Turkish population.
The last census which allowed the Turkish minority to declare their ethnicity showed the following:
|Administrative division||Turks (1936 census)||% Turkish|
|Province of Misurata||24,820||11.6%|
|Province of Tripoli||5,848||1.7%|
|Province of Derna||730||1.8%|
|Province of Benghazi||323||0.3%|
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:
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.