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Erdogan’s Expansion into Africa intensifies

16 0 0
29.11.2021

After the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in Turkey in 2002, became one of the main priorities of Erdogan’s foreign policy. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not spend a year without touring Africa: since coming to power in 2002, he has visited 31 African countries, some more than once, notably Algeria, Senegal, Somalia, and South Africa.

The Third Africa-Turkey Economic and Business Forum, attended by 250 delegations from 41 countries and over thirty African heads of state, concluded its work on October 23 in Istanbul. It was a prelude to the third summit of the Turkey-Africa partnership scheduled for December 17-18, where Ankara intends to demonstrate the success of the new strategic cooperation between Turkey and the countries of the Dark Continent. Ankara has officially proclaimed the slogan “From Cooperation to Strategic Partnership” concerning Africa, and Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın even refers to Turkey as “an Afro-Eurasian country” occasionally.

In recent years, Turkey’s activity in Africa can only be compared with that of China. As of 2020, the Turkish trade volume with African countries exceeded $25 billion, and Turkish investments rose to $7 billion. The number of Turkish diplomatic missions in Africa has increased from 12 to 43, with 31 of them opened after 2009 and several more planned. In addition, Turkish Airlines is now a significant player in Africa, serving more than 60 destinations, and Istanbul has become a logistics hub linking Africa to other continents.

Until recently, Turkey’s influence was growing particularly fast in East Africa and the western part of Sahel, in the Horn of Africa and Somalia, but now it has spread to West Africa. Moreover, the military element of cooperation is no less important than the purely economic or humanitarian aspects. “In addition to the supply of military equipment, there is also a military presence in Libya and Somalia. Now there is talk about Turkey’s military deployment in Chad and other countries,” French TV5-Monde reported in a review titled........

© New Eastern Outlook


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