Reconsidering Turkish Foreign Policy towards Sub-Saharan Africa: Rationale and Mechanisms

    In the last 15 years, Turkish engagements in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have increased, attracted wider international attention and become a phenomenon worthy of discussion.

    Turkish-African historical and cultural relations have roots in the Ottoman period. However, Turkey’s recent pivot to Africa reflects its wider desire to play a more active and visible role on the world stage. Since 2002, successive AK Party governments have increased Turkey’s engagements with African countries, primarily through augmenting foreign missions, regular high-level visits and establishing Turkey-Africa cooperation summits. This report critically assesses Turkey’s strategic engagements with Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region in the past 20 years, with especial emphasis on four main policies: politics and diplomacy, trade, education/culture, and aid.

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