Turkey’s Foreign Policy to Africa: The Role of Leaders’ Identity in Shaping Policy

Turhan Y.

Journal of Asian and African Studies, vol.56, no.6, pp.1329-1344, 2021 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0021909620966773
  • Journal Name: Journal of Asian and African Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Periodicals Index Online, American History and Life, Anthropological Literature, ATLA Religion Database, Geobase, Historical Abstracts, Index Islamicus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1329-1344
  • Keywords: Africa, Constructivism, foreign policy, identity, neo-Ottomanism
  • Ankara Haci Bayram Veli University Affiliated: Yes


© The Author(s) 2020.The shift in bearing on the traditional status quo Turkish foreign policy orientation has recently been studied through various approaches commonly associated with changing trends, to seek the theoretical and methodological pillars that underpin the state’s policy behaviours towards new regions, including Africa. Accordingly, over the last two decades, ideas, linguistic constructs, identity, and religious and cultural factors have been added to an overarching and homogenous vision of Turkish foreign policy. Although identity-based theoretical studies explain dynamic changes in the Turkish foreign policy paradigm towards new regions, several of them fail to touch on how Turkish identities are translated into state policy. This article aims to address this by arguing that the effect of personality and leadership on the policymaking process of Turkey has become more visible over the last two decades, in tune with Turkey’s identity (neo-Ottomanism, Islam), which then evolves into state policies. The article opens avenues for further academic studies on two fronts. It accounts for the theoretical background of Turkey’s attachment to Africa through a constructivist approach, while responding to how Turkey’s identities are translated into state practice, an issue not sufficiently addressed in current literature.