New Turkey, New Africa


New Turkey, New Africa ...

Turkey can successfully maximize the Africa initiative if it can institutionalize its relations with Dark Continent. This reality was persistently emphasized in the second Turkey Africa Summit that was hold in Equatorial Guinea in November, 2014. There was explained at the highest level that the deepening of relations with the Africa continent will be actualized with the institutionalization and its move to the stage over the indirect methods of diplomacy and the rule of thumb of the business world.

The genius diplomatic leap of Turkey, which hit its mark to the Africa initiative in the beginning, has developed commercial relations; and the direct brave investments of SMEs have followed that. It was inevitable to make trade and investments with a rule of thumb in the period of inexperience. Also in the next stage, a policy, which was drawn in the frame of complementarity based on sectors providing more efficient usage of the sources, was put into practice. So, a way, which was provided positive gains both for Africans and Turkey, was followed. Now, we are highly close to the next stage. We are in the turning point which the relations with Africa will be redefined and will be able to be actualized in the hardest way.

In this context, a trip that will include the East Africa in the level of high representation from Turkey should be made; it is highly important. In the presidency of President Erdoğan, a Turkish committee will be in some attempts that will lay the foundation of new relations. Some of them will have a symbolical value but an important part of them will be the attempts that give the signal of what kind of a road-map the new relations will progress on. For example, there is a hospital which was built in Somalia; and also, is maybe the most modern and equipped place in Africa. Moreover, an airport, which was modernized in Mogadishu, will be put into the service. And the opening of some service buildings will be made; and the foundation of an industrial area will be lay in Ethiopia.

Till today in the context of the construction of soft power, Turkey had some attempts and tried to build its existence in Africa continent as fast as it was not in anywhere. So, there are some positive supportive developments such as the rise of the flight points and numbers to the continent by Turkish Airlines; the opening of work places and representative offices in lots of Sub-Saharan countries by TIKA; the opening of Embassies in an amount as getting diplomatic representation easier to be directly actualized; and mutual cooperations in the fields of education-research. Turkey has begun to be remembered among the countries who provide the most aid to Africa continent. Also a continuously raising population has brought to Africa continent in the frame of the investments of SMEs. Besides all, we should remember charities and Turkish schools, which have been operating in the continent, in the rate of the support they provide to the soft power of Turkey. And what crowns all these development is demonstration of a helpful behavior of Turkey to generate “African solutions, to the problems of Africa“ by the rules of diplomatic manners depending on mutual benefit.

“New Period, New Strategy“

Now a new period begins. That will not be well-directed to comment this new period begun in Turkey – Africa relations as the move of political and legal conflicts, which keep on with parallel structure in the country, to the Africa continent. The Africa initiative of Turkey is more comprehensive and complex. It is more accurate to comment this new stage, Turkish industry, trade and diplomacy related to the role of Turkey, thought by itself, in the global work sharing.
The point here is “new Africa initiative“ of “New Turkey“. “

Let’s keep on clarifying that we are on the relations with a troublesome continent in general.

The majority of the problems of Africa continent such as security, health, education, production, waste of resources can’t be solved because an important amount of the states doesn’t have enough capacity to be a state. Lots of weak states in the continent can respond to the problems about neither security, health nor usage of the resource. Also some of these states are in a tapped situation that they can not operate their functions to be a state. Somalia, which has a strategically importance in the Horn of Africa and accepted as an entrance to the continent by Turkey that has been asphalted the streets and established the electricity grid of the capital Mogadishu, is an example to this kind of states. Somalia is a state which is in danger of dividing into three pieces. So, Turkish attempt has been facing to the directly terrorist attacks at most. The competitive powers have been obviously disturbed from the existence of Turkey which creates an added value.

There is no doubt that the problems of Somalia are belonged to its own history. It can’t be correct to generalize as the same experience repeats itself in fifty five countries in the whole continent. Individually, they have their own domestic dynamics, their own histories and cultures. The point here is a continent on which lots of languages are over two thousand. There should be evaluated the original histories, problems, economic and politic dynamics of these countries, individually.

The approach of Turkey to the continent till today was actualized by making binary agreements individually with the countries. In fact, this is a highly precious and indispensable approach. And actually, Turkey should develop commercial and economic relations one by one on the basis of a country; but its insufficiency can be obvious if the Africa reality is taken into consideration. It is known that plenty problems of the continent are getting moved easily over the borders of countries that were defined as the colonists. Especially domestic wars, famine, hunger, poverty can be spread so easily. Moreover, traditional colonists, who are the source of lots of problems, haven’t quitted the continent, also.

The Origin of the Problems of Africa is Abroad

And we should accept that majority of the problems of Africa has similarity among them. The basic problem is the fact that the majority of the problems of Africa isn’t a product of domestic dynamics of Africa. We are talking about a continent in which domestic wars; epidemic diseases; impossibility to reach some services like clean water, electricity; and poverty are spread. This is a continent which experienced two important traumas that caused all of these problems; these are the traumas related to colonialism and slave trade. As for modern period, the point is a situation that was created against Africa related to the articulation to the world economy as a basic problem of Africa continent.

Africa has been selling petroleum, natural gas, precious mines, electricity, raw materials and primarily meta using on the electronic products to the world. In return, it has been buying finished products from the world. In the context of labor productivity, Africa exchanges lower labor productivity to higher labor productivity. This unequal exchange has been causing the more impoverishment of Africa continent and the worsening of its terms of trade, namely the export-import rate. In short, the competitive superiority of Africa is absent or very little on the world. The majority of ten most poor countries in the world has been in Africa. We can remember also the neo-liberal policies, which get the situation worse; insist by IMF and the World Bank; weaken the addictive countries to debt and aid, as an additional factor.

On the other hand, the countries from Africa have been among ten fastest growing countries in the world for five years. Also this fast growth bases on the rise of the requests of rising economies such as China, India, Turkey and Brazil for the primarily products by Africa continent. But, the price of these products leading petroleum has begun to decrease recently; because the request for these products has decreased with the beginning of the decrease of their growth rates. China and India won’t be able to grow as fast as in the past. EU has been a severe recession, and has been face to face with a deflationist threat that will increase savings by turning down the consumption. Japan has been totally in an economic recession; the price of petroleum in Russia has caused a general recession. IMF rolls back the global growth expectation for 2015 and 2016. If it happens, the export revenues of Africa will be more damaged. And that will cause the decrease of revenues of Africa continent, in general.

In this context, the problems of Africa continent have some similarities in individual countries. The countries have come together and established the African Union to deal with these problems and to compete in the world by unifying their powers. This union represented an institutional formation that will orient the capital, which enters into the continent, according to the privileges of the continent; will shape the trade and investment policies; and will develop initiative about the security and aids. These orientations mentioned in such a wide continent were shaped also according to the sub-regions. Moreover, it was inevitable also to form sub-institutions like African Development Bank and African Security Council. The continent has adopted the principle of “The power borns with a unity“ because of the heaviness of the problems it has faced.

After the discourse of Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of England, as “Africa continent which is a black mark in the memory of mankind“; the traditional colonist powers in the continent are also involved on the formation of African Union, which has been searching the common solutions to common problems of the continent, and its functionality. Namely, African Union was existed institutionally as a tool of a new colonialism and gained a functionality. In short, a great number of countries has formed their institutional structure around a common mind by coming together with the peaceful ways for increasing their bargaining power for each of them; and that was a rational solution also for the Western people. In the same time, that was a tool of finding a solution without approaching the problems and hot conflicts for traditional colonist powers.

On one side, there are privileges of the countries individually; on the other side there is Africa who chose the way of move as a union…

In this context, it is an important question to discuss whether Turkey, as a country who has just entered relatively to the continent, will make a cooperation with African Union or with the countries individually. If necessary to respond in a short and clear way; both.

The Thetse fly is Small, But… !

Before responding this question, let’s turn back to the discourse of institutionalization of relations with Africa continent. There should be a formation of a series of certain institutions to be institutionalized. Turkey hasn’t equipped institutions for institutionalization of the relations with the continent, yet. Businessmen have been in a certain organization and institutionalization, and despite it is a correct step, unfortunately it is not an enough condition to be institutionalized of business premises. That mentioned institutionalization is more comprehensive institutionalization. Let’s act with an example.

We still remember that one of the hostesses of Turkish Airlines, who was making a voyage to Ghana, faced to the threat of losing her life after the bite of a thetse fly. The thetse fly can cause a disease, which will result with a death unless it is cured, as it causes the somnolence. Because that couldn’t be diagnosed, the life of our hostess was under the risk; but she could be rescued only with a medicine brought from abroad. After this example; Turkey, who built a hospital in Somalia, doesn’t have a medical school or a hospital, which have an equipment to study on tropical diseases, to diagnose and to cure them, such as “School of Hygene and Tropical Medicine“ in London. The mentioned issue is not a foundation of a small clinic or a laboratory. It is the foundation of medical schools and hospitals which have an equipment to research more comprehensively tropical diseases, even the widespread epidemic diseases such as Ebola and HIV-AIDS. Such specialist health institutions have been in the countries such as China, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Portugal. Also, they should be urgently established in our country and begin to work and study.

In the similar way, we don’t have specialist botanical gardens to study on flora and fauna. We don’t have research faculties to produce interdisciplinary studies and to study on history, economy, sociology, ethnography, culture and anthropology. We do not mention here about “research and application“ centers which have opened within the universities. In this stage, the point here is specialist institutions who are more comprehensive and needed; and have their own budgets. For example; there are this kind of researched-oriented universities of England, the Netherlands, France and also China Public Republic, recently. We should establish university departments to provide specialist education and research such as “Faculty of Language, History and Geography“ in our country. There should be a formation of a kind of structures by studying on the concept of security related to the development emphasized in a continuously increasing way about the security in our Military Schools and Military Academies. There should be formation and specialization of the departments of media, banks and insurance services which emphasize Africa. And there should be a certain source transition, political will and adult human power for the formation of these institutions.

How could be provided the formation and usage of this kind of institutionalization in the most effective way?

The point which comes forward here is the cooperation. First of all, there is a cooperation which will be done with African partners. For example, health institutions and hospitals which are opened in Somalia and lots of other regions should be organized as supporting the specialist institutions in Turkey with African partners who have been working there. The institutionalization of relations with Africa can be permanent only with the mutual formation by these institutions. As the second, the efficiency can be provided on the partnerships which are made with countries such as Western allies and China, Brazil, India. Turkey have already been in an integration with Western world in the institutional meaning. The addition of Africa dimension won’t be difficult after the formation of mentioned specialist institutions.

While it is being developed of cooperation opportunities with the countries individually for following the first way; the information transitions can be provided by being included of the common action plans of the institutions like EU and African Union for the second kind of cooperations. So, Turkey has to develop its opinion systems over the diplomacy if it wants to institutionalize its relations in Africa with its present situation. And that can be possible only with coordinating multiple strategies from one hand as they can support each other.

Finally, Turkey should complete its institutional administrative organization, which can operate leading on the basis of the country separately from the Foreign Affairs; in the same time which can harmonize its economic, politic and administrative activities in its global strategy; and which can coordinate its institutional structures with overseas countries, and feasibility of its load by studying detailed.

The strategy of “New Africa of New Turkey“ can produce permanent successes only in this framework.
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Continents ( 5 Fields )
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Africa 65 135
Asia 75 209
Europe 13 29
Latin America & Carribean 12 30
North America 7 5
Regions ( 4 Fields )
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Balkans 22 92
Middle East 18 56
Black Sea and Caucasus 2 15
Mediterranean 2 4
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
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Islamic World 51 143
Turkish World 15 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
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Turkey 49 198

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