In June, Turkish engineer Aykut Simsar was living the pleasant life of an expatriate in the Libyan city of Misurata, overseeing a massive refurbishment of that city’s free trade zone, which encompasses an important seaport.
He played occasional games of tennis, went diving in the waters along the coast and invited friends from the capital to enjoy barbecues in the garden of his rented villa during his free time.
Just a few weeks later, Simsar had fled back to Istanbul after civil war erupted in the capital. The Turkish embassy, as well as his employer, the construction giant TML, decided to evacuate all personnel from the entire country. The decision came in part because of a widespread perception in Libya that Ankara was supporting one side in the internecine conflict.
For Simsar, who also had to organize the evacuation of 450 people from the country during the 2011 revolution that toppled the late dictator Muammer Gaddafi, it was all just part of the topsy-turvy nature of doing business in north Africa. He is certain TML will return to Libya soon.
Written by Borzou Daragahi/Read more at Ft.com