Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 05/2015

Turkey's new focus on Africa: causes and challenges

Daniela Nascimento, Ali Bilgic

September 2014

Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre


Although Turkey had no past colonial involvement with African countries, there has been an increasing revival of Turkey’s relation with the continent since the end of the 1990s, which reached a peak after 2005. From then on, along with a focus on Central Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East, Turkish foreign policy started shifting its focus to Africa, and as a new donor country Turkey’s political and economic relations with sub-Saharan African countries have intensified significantly. This policy brief analyses and discusses the main economic, political, and strategic motivations behind these shifts and priorities, as well as some of the perceptions and current challenges this change in policy faces.