The increase in Turkey’s visibility and power in Sub-Saharan Africa has attracted great attention. The rise of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AK Party, the story goes, engendered an abrupt shift from a cautious to a proactive foreign policy. We posit, however, that the seeds of Turkey’s opening to Africa date back decades and are an extension of its centre country (merkez ülke) national role conception. Turkey only appeared cautious prior to the 2000s because of resource constraints. Instead, Ankara’s political leaders of all stripes have shared a common conception of Turkey as something far bigger than the nation-state, and have fostered policies aimed at enhancing its agency of action (limited by structural and resource constraints) so as to resume Turkey’s role as Afro-Eurasia’s centre country. This national role conception coupled with an increase in Turkey’s national power since the 1980s have resulted in its opening to and subsequent engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa.

Turkey-Africa Relations and Turkey’s National Role Conception as the Centre Country: Continuity or a Break with the Past?

Donelli, Federico
2024-01-01

Abstract

The increase in Turkey’s visibility and power in Sub-Saharan Africa has attracted great attention. The rise of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the AK Party, the story goes, engendered an abrupt shift from a cautious to a proactive foreign policy. We posit, however, that the seeds of Turkey’s opening to Africa date back decades and are an extension of its centre country (merkez ülke) national role conception. Turkey only appeared cautious prior to the 2000s because of resource constraints. Instead, Ankara’s political leaders of all stripes have shared a common conception of Turkey as something far bigger than the nation-state, and have fostered policies aimed at enhancing its agency of action (limited by structural and resource constraints) so as to resume Turkey’s role as Afro-Eurasia’s centre country. This national role conception coupled with an increase in Turkey’s national power since the 1980s have resulted in its opening to and subsequent engagement with Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3052798
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