Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began a three-nation tour of Africa on Saturday, 20 January, aimed at strengthening ties with the continent.
President Erdogan is expected to visit Algeria, The Gambia and Senegal as Turkey continues its quest to grow its influence in Africa.
During his stay in the continent, the Turkish leader is expected to hold bilateral talks with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, The Gambia’s President Adama Barrow and Senegal’s President Macky Sall.
This is President Erdogan’s first visit to Africa since his country deployed troops to Libya to support the Government of National Accord as its battled forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar.
On Friday, the 65-year-old said the troops would remain in the North African country despite a ceasefire in place.
President Edrogan has been accompanied in his tour by First Lady Emine Erdoğan and other high-level officials including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Technology and Industry Minister Mustafa Varank, Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez, head of the Turkish Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın.
Turkey-Africa relations have gained substantial momentum since the declaration of Turkey as a strategic partner of the continent by the African Union in January 2008.