© 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.