The Place and Importance of African Countries in Turkey’s Seeking New Markets
Kahraman Arslan

Turkey’s relations with countries in the African continent were at a minimum level until the early 2000s and Turkey had neither a consistent African policy nor the intention of expanding to Africa (Tepebas, 2013:320). Thus, African continent, especially Sub-Saharan region, remained as a marginal region which was not worth being examined for many years. With a comprehensive African policy goal, the first concrete steps were taken in 1998 and the aim was to promote economic, cultural and human relations with African countries by making an exhaustive action plan (Aydin, 2014:4). That the EU economy has shrunk recently in particular has paved the way for the realization of the economic potential of the African continent. Although the dimensions of our trade with African countries seem small, increases occurring since 2003 are significant in terms of showing how great the trade potential of African countries is and what kind of opportunities it will be able to create in the future. Employing qualitative research and analysis method based on the interpretation and discovery of hidden knowledge within the related literature, this study focuses on the significance of the development of economic relationships between Turkey and African countries and recommends policies in order to improve our trade volume with these countries. Moreover, considering current potential of African countries with whom we have historical and cultural ties and their gradually increasing importance in international arena, it has been concluded that it is essential for our academics to draw attention to this matter, have academic cooperation to build bilateral-regional relationships within the frame of mutual expectations, encourage young academics to conduct studies on Africa, create awareness by giving more place to Africa in printed and visual media and train specialists on African issues. Another significant finding is that Turkey does not have the luxury to disregard African countries considering the fact that the continent has become one of the most important competitive environments of the century, and that Turkey must provide technical assistance and training support for African countries in areas of experience and that it is possible to expand our foreign trade volume to desired levels by means of promoting cooperation opportunities.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jibe.v7n2a4