Diplomatic relations between Turkey and African countries are strengthening from year to year. Since 2009, Ankara has opened 31 embassies on the second largest continent of the planet.
The turning point in terms of the Turkish presence on the continent was the granting of observer status to the African Union in 2005, the announcement of Turkey as a strategic partner of the union in 2008, the Turkish policy of “opening Africa” and the policy of partnership with Africa, implemented since 2013.
So, if before 2009 there were 12 Turkish embassies in Africa, today this number has increased to 43. Thus, Turkey has become the country that opened the largest number of embassies on the African continent in the 21st century.
First Turkish embassies in Africa
The first Turkish embassy in Africa was opened in 1925 in Cairo (Egypt).
The Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which opened in 1926, was the first Turkish embassy in sub-Saharan countries.
After a number of African countries gained independence from Western colonialists in the 1950s, Turkey’s diplomatic activity on the continent intensified.
In 1954-1994, the embassies of the Republic of Turkey were opened in Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Congo, Somalia and South Africa. The total number of Turkish embassies on the continent has reached 12.
At the same time, in the 20th century, Turkey’s relations with African countries, in particular with those located in the south of the Sahara, remained limited.
Revitalization of Turkish diplomacy after 2005
The election of Turkey as an observer to the African Union in 2005, as well as the visits of Recep Tayyip Erdogan to African countries, carried out by him as Prime Minister in 2005-2007, gave a new impetus to Ankara’s relations with the continent.
Also, the development of interaction was facilitated by the announcement of Turkey as a strategic partner of the African Union in 2008.
In 2009-2019, Turkish embassies were opened in Cote d’Ivoire, Angola, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Uganda, Cameroon, South Sudan, Mauritania, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Gambia, Gabon, Namibia, Niger, Djibouti , Chad, Eritrea, Guinea, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Lyon and Tanzania.
In 2021, the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey was opened in Togo, bringing the total number of Turkish embassies to the African continent to 43.
In the near future, Turkey plans to open an embassy in Guinea-Bissau. The goal is to bring the number of Ankara’s embassies on the continent to 50.
In total, there are 54 states in Africa.
The Anadolu Agency’s website publishes in a shortened form . .(HAS).