Turkey's STM company participates in Expodefensa 2021, International Defense and Security Trade Fair in Bogota, Colombia on December 01, 2021. Expodefensa’s first edition was held in 2009 at the CORFERIAS exhibition center in Bogota, as part of the project of the Ministry of National Defense of Colombia to present the capabilities of its armed forces to key international players. Photo by Juancho Torres. Anadolu Images.

The Turcos Are Coming: Turkey’s Growing Ties with Latin America

The defense industry, renewable energy, and satellite systems are shaping Turkey’s new commercial agenda globally, with clear implications for Latin America.

Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador of Arab/Palestinian origin, made his first visit to Turkey in January 2022, where he signed a series of agreements covering economy, defense industry, and technology among others with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. In a strained relationship with the Biden administration, Bukele finds in Ankara a potential partner to develop a broad cooperation agenda, while later visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in his regional tour.

If geopolitics rules the dynamics of the Middle East and the Black Sea region, ideology is what matters most in Latin America’s regional and global affairs. Currently, Latin America has a complex mix of conservative populist leaders such as Brazil’s Bolsonaro and El Salvador’s Bukele and the return of a “pink” tide after the elections of Alberto Fernandez in Argentina, Pedro Castillo in Perú, and Gabriel Boric in Chile, in addition to the left-wing governments in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.

Despite regional polarization, conservatives and leftists in Latin America have a common point: both are experiencing complicated relations with the Biden administration, so there is a need to diversify relations globally. How do they diversify? They are increasingly looking to engage with Eurasian regional and global powers from China to Turkey, despite pressures from the West. Among other reasons, this is why…

Read more: The Turcos Are Coming: Turkey’s Growing Ties with Latin America

[Politics Today, February 18, 2022]

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