Africa Today Seminar: The new Turkish foreign policy towards Africa

Seminar date: 
06 October 2011
15.30 - 17.00u
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Seminar room: 
3A06 (third floor)

Turkey’s economic and political relations with Africa have increased significantly since it announced 2005 as ‘The Year of Africa’. It subsequently opened fifteen new embassies in Africa in 2008 and has strengthened its institutional relations with the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). For its part, the AU declared Turkey a strategic partner in 2008, having granted it observer status at the AU in 2005. Turkey organized the first ever Africa-Turkey Summit in Istanbul in August 2008 and both Turkey and Africa accepted a ‘Cooperation Framework for a Turkey-Africa Partnership’ during the summit. Turkey has been playing an active role in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa. This seminar will explore the internal and external driving forces behind Turkey’s changing foreign policy towards Africa.

Abdurrahim Siradag is a PhD student at the Institute of Political Science, Leiden University, the Netherlands, and is completing his thesis on the strategic security partnership between Africa and the EU. He finished his MA in 2009 at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, with a dissertation entitled ‘Cooperation between the African Union and the European Union With Regard to Peacemaking and Peacekeeping in Africa’. His research activities concentrate on security in Africa, conflict prevention, the global actors’ security policy in Africa and their institutional relations with African organizations. He has visited several African countries, including Malawi, Swaziland, Lesotho, Mozambique and Madagascar, on humanitarian relief programmes, and has done extensive research in South Africa.