Ankara, Turkey – Turkey’s move has panicked France! Behind the scenes of Macron’s opposition to Turkey. France, irritated by Turkey’s moves in the Eastern Mediterranean and Libya, has become anti-Turkish. Macron, who cannot digest Turkey’s foreign policy achievements, often says that Turkey should be blocked. “What is the real problem with Macron, who has pursued aggressive and expansionist policies aimed at escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean? Here’s behind the scenes of Macron’s opposition to Turkey.
France, which has not found what it hoped for in Syria and Libya, is this time trying to prevent Turkey’s influence in the region by creating an anti-Turkey front in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is pointed out that the main problem of France is that Turkey has a presence in the political, economic, military and cultural sphere on the African continent, where it has recently lost its influence. French President Emmanuel Macron, who is uncomfortable with Turkey’s ‘African opening’ policy, often says that Turkey should be blocked. France, which has left no room for exploitation in Africa, is increasingly losing power on this continent. African countries have now turned their faces to Turkey, China, India and Brazil.
In recent years, Turkey has taken important steps to improve its relations with countries in Africa. In Africa, where we had only 12 embassies in 2002, today we serve as ambassadors in 43 countries. That number is expected to reach 50 in the coming period. The Maarif Foundation of Turkey (TMV) operates 144 educational institutions and 17 student dormitories throughout Africa. The number of representative offices of the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) in Africa reached 22. Turkish Airlines (THY) operates flights to more than 50 cities on the continent. The Turkish construction company is involved in many projects in African countries.
Between 2015 and 2019, the number of mutual high-level visits between African countries and Turkey exceeded 500. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made Africa the most important stop of his foreign policy. President Erdogan, who holds the title of leader of the country with the most trips to Africa, has made more than 30 trips to date from Tunisia to Mozambique, from South Africa to Morocco, from Somalia to Senegal.
In the last 18 years, the volume of bilateral trade with African countries has increased exactly six-fold. According to the information contained in the DEIK Foreign Investment Index 2019, foreign investment from Turkey to Africa reached $ 46 billion with an increase of 11 percent. According to TurkStat data, 186.5 billion dollars of trade was made between Turkey and the countries of the African continent in the period 2010-2019.
With billions of dollars in trade, Turkey has built strong ties with African countries over the past decade, while the opening of a military base in Somalia in 2017 added a military dimension to Turkey’s presence in Africa. Turkey also provides military training and advice to the Government of Tripoli, which the UN recognizes as legitimate, in Libya, a North African country.
According to the 2020 Data announced by the Turkish Exporters Assembly, African countries made up a significant part of the countries exported this year in defense and aviation exports. Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Mali, Niger and Somalia were among the countries exported to Africa. Armoured vehicles such as BMC Porcupine/Porcupine II and BMC II were also exported to the legitimate government in Libya, as well as the Bayraktar TB2 SIHA (UCAV) produced by Baykar Defense. Finally, Hızır, one of Turkey’s most powerful armored combat vehicles developed by Katmerciler, is planned to be delivered to an African country at the end of this year.