A photo shows a banner with the photo of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Togolese President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe at a street ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit in Lome, Togo on October 18, 2021. (Photo credit: Alphonse Logo)

Perspective: Turkey’s Multidimensional Strategy Towards Africa

What are Turkey’s expectations in Africa? How to understand Turkey’s African strategy? How to evaluate Erdogan’s recent visit to Africa?

Since the late 1990s, Turkey has sought to develop its relations with African countries through various initiatives such as humanitarian, economic, cultural, political, defense, and others. The need for Ankara to play a crucial role beyond its traditional sphere of influence pushed it to engage with African countries. Turkey and African countries’ relations began to strengthen in the early 2000s when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power. Due to the importance of Africa in its new foreign policy orientation, Turkey declared 2005 as the Year of Africa. Since then, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made 46 trips to 30 African countries, suggesting Africa’s strategic importance to Turkey.

African countries view Turkey as a partner with no history of colonial exploitation on the continent and elsewhere, allowing Ankara to expand its influence through its soft power. Turkey gained a foothold on the continent by promoting economic and social development in an environment of peace and stability and developing bilateral relations based on equal partnership and mutual benefit…

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