Are Turkey and Africa Ready for the Second Summit?

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Are Turkey and Africa Ready for the Second Summit?...

Despite of the continuous problems, Africa that is defined as a continent in the ascendant has been qualified as a geography whose strategic importance has been increasing day by day and in which competition has been intensified because of its present potential in the view of foreign forces. In the latest decade, Africa that has been the host of an important part of the countries, which have been growing in the fastest way, besides its growth performance in macro level has been attracting the attention with its various natural source reserves, rapid urbanization, growing middle-class and foreign trade partners.

The performance of Turkey, who took its first concrete step because of “Action Plan of Expansion to Africa“ accepted in 1998 in the direction of the target of following the extensive Africa policy, that had been exhibiting especially during the period of 2005 - 2011, represented the most concrete example of multilateral foreign policy mentality besides being an important foreign policy success. Thus, Turkey has become a strategic partner of Africa Unity, parallel to the developing relations. However, owing to the first Cooperation Summit in 2008, it is another fact that the momentum effect caught in the relations with Africa has been weakening noticeably since 2012. Since, Turkey that has been presented as one of the five developing partners of Africa besides China, India, Brazil and Korea Republic, had to be focused to the new developments in its own region and couldn’t respond enough to the leaps on the continent of mentioned countries recently.

The leap of the fluctuations experienced in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya to Syria, the neighbor country; has affected the African shift of Turkish foreign policy, directly. In the result of the tension experienced in the political relations with Egypt that we have the common history and similar cultural specialties, our diplomatic relations have descended to the level of deputy chief of mission. While Turkey, which has been a discussion subject about the recent foreign policy choices, was having the considerably support of African countries in the voting of Temporary Membership in UN Security Council for the period of 2009 - 2010, it couldn’t find the same support from Africa in the selection in which it was a candidate again, for the period of 2015 - 2016.

The fact that our total trade volume with Africa in present conditions reached to 23.4 billion dollars in 2013, despite being distant of the detected targets; is a success that shouldn’t be underestimated. Thus, Turkey has “Free Trade Agreement“ with only four countries and “The Prevention of Double Taxation Agreement“ with only seven countries of fifty four countries in Africa.

Recently, the most concrete contribution to the development of Turkey - Africa relations was provided by Turkish Airlines by expanding the transportation network. Moreover, the fact that our membership in African Development Bank, which is in the quality of a move to open the way of Turkish entrepreneurs, has became official in 29 October 2013; is another important development. Even if there was an obvious increase on the the number of diplomatic representations of Turkey in Africa, in the period of 2009 - 2013; an important part of these mentioned representations haven’t been full-fledged, yet.

While the “2nd Turkey - Africa Summit“ that will be held this week forms an opportunity to take new steps about the next period, it has been highly difficult in present situation to catch the wind in 2008 again for exhausted Turkish diplomacy because of the intense agenda on foreign policy. Before the summit, which should have been done in the previous year according to the determined road map in the first summit but was postponed, and whose preparation process was kept short because of deciding the date late, this year; the fact that there hasn’t been any information about the details of activity in any official publication organ even including in website of the Foreign Ministry of Turkey has been creating a clear impression about that Turkey couldn’t prepare itself to the mentioned summit mentally by being different from the first summit.

The similar situation is also valid for the African side. The second summit will have a limited summit identity by being different from the first one, in which forty nine African countries was participated; because of the decision taken by especially nearly thirteen continental countries of African Union in the direction of attending the summit by representing the whole continent. Also it is another question why African Union didn’t apply to the application qualified as “Banjul Formula“ in the summits done in the previous periods. In short, the second summit between Turkey and Africa has been exposing a view of staying away from the excitement of the first one because of the present raisons.

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Continents ( 5 Fields )
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TASAM Africa 0 149
TASAM Asia 0 236
TASAM Europe 0 44
TASAM Latin America & Carribea... 0 34
TASAM North America 0 9
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TASAM Balkans 0 93
TASAM Middle East 0 62
TASAM Black Sea and Caucasus 0 16
TASAM Mediterranean 0 7
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TASAM Islamic World 0 147
TASAM Turkic World 0 29
TASAM Türkiye ( 1 Fields )
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TASAM Türkiye 0 229

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