Peacebuilding in Turbulent Times: Turkey in MENA and Africa

Author: Spyros Sofos

Over the past decade, Turkey has become a significant actor in the Middle East, North and sub-Saharan Africa, largely through its development and peacebuilding engagement, and its cultural and commercial penetration within these regions. This involvement has varied in response to both domestic and international developments, allowing Turkey to project itself as a major and ambitious newcomer, among other emerging powers in the development and peacebuilding field. Ankara’s new multidimensional foreign policy framework and its development and peacemaking approach has since undergone a significant transformation as international, regional and domestic developments have prompted the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to respond to challenges and opportunities posed in this field.

This report, premised on an extensive review of relevant official documents from the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİYANET), the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), analysis of media reports, as well as interviews with policymakers, diplomats and foreign policy, peacebuilding, and development experts assesses the Turkish political leadership and policy community’s understanding of peacebuilding, the contexts and main motivations underlying its conceptualisation and implementation, while outlining potential future developments.

About the Series: The Global Transitions Series looks at fragmentations in the global order and how these impact peace and transition settlements. It explores why and how different third-party actors – state, intergovernmental, and non-governmental – intervene in conflicts, and how they see themselves contributing to reduction of conflict and risks of conflict relapse. The series critically assesses the growth and diversification of global and regional responses to contemporary conflicts. It also asks how local actors are navigating this multiplicity of mediators and peacebuilders and how this is shaping conflict outcomes and post-conflict governance. Explore the full series.