TR Foreign Policy & Geopolitics

Heartbang

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Тürkiye declared its readiness to support Turkic countries in the development of the defense industry

The countries of the Turkic world should cooperate closely in the field of the military-industrial complex and create a defense industry ecosystem. Turkey is ready to assist them in this matter, Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan said at a specialized meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Countries. He spoke in favor of creating a common defense system for the Organization of Turkic States (OTS).
I love it and all for it!
Although we need nukes to for this to be a serious counter against Russia and China.
 

2033

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Where do you get the information then?
Everyone who follows politics saw what happened. After the plane was shot down, Russia reacted harshly and sold the S-400s in exchange for peace.
 
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Huelague

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Everyone who follows politics saw what happened. After the plane was shot down, Russia reacted harshly and sold the S-400s in exchange for peace.

This makes absolutely no sense.
In a possible conflict with Russia, it would makes no sense to sell their most sophisticated ADS to a NATO member.
 

2033

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This makes absolutely no sense.
In a possible conflict with Russia, it would makes no sense to sell their most sophisticated ADS to a NATO member.
You have not followed Turkish foreign policy. You are free to believe what you want. Russia has always tried to push Turkey away from NATO. On top of that, they sold almost useless S-400s for billions of dollars.
 

Fuzuli NL

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Türkiye – the new great power in Africa​


Ankara is trying to fill the vacuum that Europe left behind with its forced withdrawals from African states. There is a clear strategy behind this to expand your own influence. Germany and France can only watch Turkey's rise on the continent.

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Ulf Laessing
  • 24.05.2024

When the desperately poor West African country of Niger wanted to host an African Union summit in 2019, it urgently needed a new airport and hotel capacity for dozens of visiting heads of state and their entourage. Turkey stepped in at short notice and built a new terminal for Niamey Airport, including a lounge for Turkish Airlines, and the Radisson Blu hotel. In the years that followed, the Turkish state and Turkish companies expanded their relationships significantly. This happened at a time when only a few experts in Germany and Europe had Niger on their radar. Turkish Airlines was also one of the first airlines to resume flights to Niamey following the coup in Niger in July 2023.
Niger is just one example in the Sahel region and throughout Africa of rapidly growing Turkish involvement. Unlike Germany and its Western partners, Ankara discovered the continent early on as a focus for exerting more influence and expanding trade - Turkey sees opportunities above all in Africa. It all began in August 2011 with a visit by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then Prime Minister, to civil war-torn Somalia, which was also suffering from famine.
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The Turkish aid organization TIKA distributes food in Addis Ababa/Ethiopia. (Photo: picture alliance / AA)
The trip, which received a lot of media coverage, helped bring the Somalia conflict to the attention of the world public. The following year, Turkish Arlines began flights to the capital Mogadishu, despite some security concerns. It was the first medium-haul connection since the East African country collapsed in a spiral of violence between rival militias in 1991. Somalia is still unsafe today, but Turkish entrepreneurs and diplomats come and go there. This is not an isolated case: Turkey only had twelve embassies on the continent in 2002, but according to the Foreign Ministry, by the end of 2022 there were already 44.

Turkish Goals: Economy and Soft Power​

Turkey has several goals with its expansion in Africa and the Sahel. The economy at home has been in crisis for years and the Turkish lira has lost a lot of value. This makes Turkish exports and services cheaper. Africa is now a huge new sales market for Turkish companies, which is mostly ignored by European or American companies. The Radisson Blu in Niamey, for example, is run by a Turkish company, as is the best private hospital, Golden Life, in the Malian capital Bamako.
Thanks to Turkish Airlines flights, Istanbul can be reached from almost all African capitals. Many citizens of African countries do not need visas for Turkey or they are easy to obtain. The result: Wealthy Africans from Mali or Niger, for example, are increasingly flying to Turkey on vacation or for medical treatment. They openly say that they feel more comfortable in Turkey than in Europe, where visa applications and overall treatment are often perceived as degrading. In Turkey, people are less discriminated against or “taught” about human rights and democratic deficits, say a number of Africans. In addition to construction companies with large infrastructure projects, many small Turkish companies are also active in sectors ranging from textiles to gastronomy in Africa. Turkish products – from fashion to furniture – are omnipresent in many African countries.
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The Radisson Blu hotel in Niamey, the capital of Niger, was built by Turkish companies and has Turkish management. (Photo: AVCI Architects)
Turkey has also benefited greatly from France and Europe's withdrawal from parts of Africa in recent years. France recently withdrew its troops from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger and the European Union reduced or ended its training missions - Europe does not want to work with military governments because of their cooperation with Russia and for fear of attacks on civilians by soldiers trained by the EU. This reluctance of the Europeans was also the reason why many of these training missions were never really successful. Because Germany and other countries did not want Malian soldiers to be trained with real rifles.

Export hit drones​

The Turkish defense industry is taking a more pragmatic approach in Africa and is expanding rapidly to fill the gaps left by the Europeans. There is an unofficial division of labor with Russia and China, which are also expanding rapidly in Africa's arms market. Russia supplies mercenaries, planes and helicopters to Mali, Libya and the Central African Republic, and Turkey provides drones. The Bayraktar model has been a best seller since it was used in the 2019 Libyan civil war. Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have purchased the drone, which has helped the local armies achieve their first successes, similar to those in Libya. Thanks to drones from Turkey and aircraft supplied by Russia, Mali's army was able to take the rebel stronghold of Kidal in the north at the end of 2023, which had been outside the control of the Malian state for ten years. Burkina Faso has successfully used the drone in the fight against jihadists. The West African country had previously repeatedly asked Europe for military equipment to no avail.
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Turkey's Bayraktar drone - which President Erdoğan is signing here at the Batman military base - is a bestseller in Africa. (Photo: picture alliance / AP Photo)
To this end, Turkey has also expanded training aid in some countries in order to fill the vacuum left by the Europeans with Russia, China and Iran. This pragmatic approach has helped Turkey gain respect in Africa, also because its Western partners are accused of double standards. France continues to maintain close relations with some autocratic African states such as Chad, where one of the largest French troop bases in Africa is located. Turkey works with all African states, regardless of who is currently in power. She has set the goal of opening an embassy in every capital on the continent. In addition to Libya, Turkey also maintains a military base in Somalia, where most Turkish development cooperation goes.
If necessary, Turkey also intervenes militarily - as it did in 2019, when the country actively supported the then internationally recognized government in Tripoli in the Libyan civil war in order to repel an attack on the capital by the eastern Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar. Turkey later set up an air base in western Libya - as a deterrent, so to speak, against Haftar, who received military support from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Here, too, tangible economic interests were at play because Turkey only supported Tripoli with drones and other means when the government of then Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj concluded an agreement with Ankara to exploit lucrative gas fields in the Mediterranean. Al-Sarraj's government was saved, but at a high cost.

Turkish schools​

To this end, Turkey is investing in “soft power” to improve its image. The country spends less money on development cooperation than Europe, but communicates much more actively, as Erdoğan's visit to Somalia in 2012 showed, which earned Turkey a lot of sympathy because Turkish organizations also brought relief supplies in the middle of a famine. Turkey also generously provides scholarships for students from Africa and maintains a network of Turkish schools on the continent through the Maarif Foundation to prepare them. There are also numerous religious training programs for Muslim clergy. A Turkish diplomat once said it was about training a future generation of young leaders who spoke Turkish - a worthwhile investment because Africa is the continent with the youngest population in the world.
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The Maarif Foundation runs a school in Khartoum in Sudan. Turkey also generously awards scholarships to African students, thereby retaining the younger generation. (Photo: picture alliance / AA)
Domestic politics also play a role in Africa. On the one hand, the African expansion helps Erdoğan to portray himself at home as an influential statesman and one of the leaders of the Muslim world. The state-run Maarif Foundation has expanded significantly in recent years, taking over schools run by Erdoğan's arch-rival Fethullah Gülen, whose religious Muslim movement was accused by Ankara of a failed 2016 coup attempt. Analysts say that in subsequent years, Turkey put pressure on some African states to extradite Gülen supporters in return for promises of development projects and other aid.
What remains clear is that Europe and Germany can learn a lot from Turkey with its pragmatic and long-term Africa strategy. Ankara does not allow itself to be thrown off course by short-term political changes and sees opportunities in Africa, not primarily poverty and conflicts like the European public. The soft power strategy along with Turkish Airlines' flight connections is sure to win the hearts of young people in Africa who grow up with Turkish products and vacation in Turkey instead of in Europe like their parents.

The author​

Ulf Laessing heads the Sahel program of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation based in Bamako (Mali).
 

Knowledgeseeker

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Morocco did good, they’re protecting their country unlike us, unfortunately.
Frankly, we did not accept their proposal, but we have a similar problem. It's at a much smaller scale compared to the situation with Turkiye, but we do not get any financial support to stop the migration.
 

Bozan

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Rwanda and Morocco can defend its own interests while Turkiye says Yes to everything put forward by the Europeans.

Yeah when you dont control your destiny this is the result.

Erdogan is in full control, what do you mean?
 

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