By Vugar Khalilov
France's media outlets have described Turkey as a significant power in Africa due to its successful policy in the past 20 years in the continent, Yeni Shafak newspaper has reported.
After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the West African countries Angola, Nigeria and Togo, the French media reported on Turkey's increasing influence in Africa day by day and underlined that Africa had gained an important place in the county’s foreign policy over the past 20 years.
The French sources added that Turkey had consolidated its soft power in the continent with its developing defence industry and political influence.
French state radio RFI pointed out that the Turkey-Africa relationship has a strategic dimension.
In an interview with TV5Monde, Sciences-Po Grenoble Prof Jean Marcou said that President Erdogan visits Africa every year and he has been to 30 countries so far.
In two months, there will be the 3rd Turkey-Africa summit, which shows that the continent holds a priority in the Turkish strategy, he added.
Drawing attention to the opening of the 43rd Turkish embassy on the continent in Togo in April 2021, Marcou emphasized that Ankara had rapidly increased its influence through humanitarian aid, social, historical ties, economy and companies such as Turkish Airlines.
The French academician also stressed the increasing impact of the defence industry and military cooperation between Turkey and the African countries in the recent years.
"Turkey is implementing a truly holistic power policy [in Africa] by combining its soft power created by trade, culture and NGOs with its hard power, which it highlights with arms sales," France's Le Monde newspaper wrote in its analysis.
It was also noted that Ankara raised its trade volume with the continent from $4 billion to $26 billion.
Since the early 2000s, noticing less western interest in Africa, Erdogan started to strengthen its presence in the Muslim African countries such as Somalia and Libya, Renaud Girard wrote in Le Figaro newspaper.
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