Last year Turkish foreign policy towards the Middle East was largely determined the constraints of the Syrian problem. Despite this Turkey managed to increase its influence in the Middle East by creating a strategic relationship with Egypt. Meanwhile it is now virtually essential that Turkey increase its foreign policy involvement in Africa in order to protect its interests.
As for the countries which were not affected by the Arab Spring, they are currently experiencing serious anxiety about how they should preserve their stability. In all these tremors, Turkish diplomacy undertook active initiatives of approching somaliland because of it’s stability, in order to undertake humanitarian and political tasks. In some situations lost by Arabs. Because of the troubles in somalia,Turke is convenced the undeniable chance that can be created a bond of friendship that opted out by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to develop its relations with Somaliland as part of its search for new allies in the East Africa ( Horn) to protect its interests. The clearest illustration of this new relationship is the flow of visits by senior government officials in both Somaliland and Turkey. The two countries and the economic and strategic agreements signed as a result of them..
Turkey and Africa
Ankara continues to support the political process in Somaliland and Somalia. Mr Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey Foreign Minister, has had the honour of being the first foreign guest ever to address the enemty between tow Somalis. As far as humanitarian aspects are concerned, Turkish institutions and organisations are continuing to send aid to both countries.
At the same time, it is also abundantly clear that the fact that Turkey’s position in regional affairs is steadily growing stronger has made certain powers anxious. There are also some tribal leaders and “war chieftains” who object to Turkey having such a role. A glance at the history of Somalia shows that the situation there has to do with the interaction of regional and national short-comings and that a struggle over its security which is totally different the situation in Somaliland.can be discerned coming over the horizon. It may be recalled in this context that an armed attack was carried out in October against Mr Mustafa El Haşimi, Africa Chief of TIKA [the Turkish International Aid Organisation] in the town of Galkayo in central Somalia and details of it have never been made public. Then there is the fact that a Turkish petroleum company made an investment of $1 billion in Somaliland, and that some officials in the region have interpreted this as support for the Somaliland declaration of independence. Another section of opinion in Mogadishu believes that the investment was aimed at detaching that region from the other Somali territories and shuold dealt only with Somaliland and Somalia.The crisis was obviously chiefly about the desire to strengthen bilateral economic relations, most importantly over petrol of Somaliland.
Talk of the point now reached in Turkish-African relations takes us on to the greatest market crisis in Africa, So Turkish foreign policy towards the Horn of Africa last year in general developed within the constraints of the Somalis ( Somaliland & Somalia) problem. Despite this, Turkey extended its influence and creating a bridge of strategic relationship with Africa to protect its interests affecting in both the short and the long term.
By Fuad Ferhavi, Researcher at USAK Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies.
*The original version of this piece was published in Turkish ANALIST Journal on January 2013.