Çavuşoğlu: Türkiye’s Africa initiative bears fruit as relations enhance - M5 Dergi
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Çavuşoğlu: Türkiye’s Africa initiative bears fruit as relations enhance

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Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu underlined that Türkiye is adapting to the changing global system and challenges by renewing its policies, among which the Africa initiative has shown concrete results

Ankara’s increasing emphasis on developing relations with countries in Africa has started to bear results, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Monday.

“Our Africa opening policy has given concrete results and turned into a partnership policy. Our trade has increased from $4.3 billion in 2002 to $34.5 billion today. This year we will hopefully reach $45 billion – that means our trade will have increased tenfold,” Çavuşoğlu said during a speech at Akdeniz University.

Çavuşoğlu noted that he saw the progress Türkiye’s policies toward the continent have enabled on the field during his recent visit to Africa.

The Turkish foreign minister embarked on a three-day Africa tour last week, with Benin his last stop after Senegal and Ghana.

Türkiye aims to win alongside Africa and march together toward the future, Çavuşoğlu said in late 2021 in his commencement speech at the foreign ministers meeting at the third Türkiye-Africa Partnership Summit in Istanbul.


Ankara has frequently reaffirmed that its approach in its ever-growing relations with African countries is based on equal partnership and a win-win principle, emphasizing the strong will to further develop commercial ties.

Türkiye’s engagement with the African continent has been gaining pace over the years. Having adopted a one-dimensional foreign policy shaped by its relations with the West for decades, Türkiye has shifted to a more diversified, multidimensional and independent foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. This opening up to Africa, which dates back to the action plan adopted in 1998, took shape in 2005, which Ankara declared the “Year of Africa.” Türkiye was accorded observer status by the Africa Union the same year.

In a reciprocal move, the African Union declared Türkiye its strategic partner in 2008, and relations between Africa and Türkiye gained momentum when the first bilateral Cooperation Summit was held in the commercial capital Istanbul with the participation of representatives from 50 African countries that year.

Ankara has been stressing the desire to advance relations with the continent on the basis of a win-win relationship and equal partnership while observing mutual respect. Both sides have been vowing to tap into their greater potential when it comes to further expanding and deepening relations. To this effect, the number of Turkish Embassies in Africa has increased from just 12 in 2002 to 44 in 2022.

Touching upon the recent challenges in world politics including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Çavuşoğlu said that Türkiye within this scope developed innovative policies.

“The Asia Anew initiative, which we announced in 2019, is a policy that captures Asia’s rise. There is economic strength in Asia, and it is further shifting toward there day by day,” Çavuşoğlu underlined, adding that Türkiye is deepening its ties with countries and regional institutions.

Among Türkiye’s other efforts, Çavuşoğlu cited the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, increasing digital diplomacy works, Ankara’s role in global mediation as well as relations with the European Union and Latin America alongside Africa and Asia.

Noting that the representative offices in Latin America have increased from six to 19, and the trade has increased from $1 billion to $15 billion, Çavuşoğlu also stated that they announced their policy of opening to Europe in August, saying “Türkiye is Europe.”

Reiterating that conventional war is raging currently in Europe, Çavuşoğlu said: “Therefore, it is inevitable that we attach importance to Europe, of which we are a part, when it needs it. This does not only mean Türkiye’s accession to the EU. Europe is not just the EU. We’re talking about Greater Europe. There is the Council of Europe, the OSCE. If we are a part of the European continent, we have to contribute as a regional power and a global actor to overcome the crises of this continent.”

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