Turkey’s Strategic Advantage in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Effects of Reciprocity and the Continuing Viability of the New Engagement
Turkey has Become a major regional player in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has succeeded to forge strategic partnerships with Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and many other SSA countries. It constructed and set up its largest overseas military bases and increased its presence in the region (Wheeler, 2015). The relationship between the two sides is broader-based than the construction of military facilities, Turkey provides economic aid and other development cooperation efforts to the SSA countries. In the diplomatic arena, Turkey has upgraded its relations with SSA countries (Özkan, 2010). In 2009, Turkey had only twelve embassies in Africa – mainly in the North of the continent. Now there are more than forty-one Embassies Likewise, diplomatic relations are not one-sided – there are growing SSA embassies in Ankara. The current SSA’s diplomatic presence in Ankara is close to multiply its previous number by four times (MFA, 2018).
The aim of this PhD is to increase the scientific knowledge of Turkey’s behaviour in terms of diplomacy, trade and military presence in SSA as an emerging power. The project will also shed new light on the reshuffling global landscape of economic and political strength between the great powers of the East and West, and Turkey as a new emerging challenger. Firstly, the research will review what SSA gained and/or expects to gain from Turkey’s strategy. Secondly, Turkey is identified as an emerging global player that can influence contemporary global economic governance as a result of its soft-power (aid, technical assistance, commerce), and security related incursions into SSA (Shinn, 2015). Therefore, it focuses on whether the new engagement represent a new model of developed-LDC relations? And how long this approach (Turkey/SSA relations) is likely to prove sustainable due to the internal and external challenges facing Turkey (OECD, 2016; Shinn 2015). In addition, the project will contribute to the field of politics and international relations in the area of Turkey’s contemporary impact on global dynamics and regional balances of power as well as the SSA’s economic and political shift, from its traditional colonial powers to the new emerging powers.
Research Degree: PhD, Full-time
Department: Department of History, Politics and Philosophy
Research Centre: History Research Centre