Scramble for Africa: Turkey’s first overseas military base to open in Africa

Source: YeniSafak

The first Turkish military base in Africa, built in Somalia, will soon operate under a deal to enhance defense cooperation with this African country.

Turkey and Somalia inked a defense cooperation agreement on Jan. 25 in 2015 in the framework of Turkey’s pledge to build up a national army for the Somalian state. The deal has been subsequently approved by the United Nations.

The base, African Horn, will open in Mogadishu for Somalian troops to have training and to handle weapons in order to drive al-Qaeda linked al-Shabaab from their homes.

More than 10,000 Somalian troops and soldiers from other African countries will be trained by Turkish military experts in the base. The new base will house 200 military experts. Turkey will also deploy enforcement to ensure security of the military camp.

The construction of the military base in Africa means a crucial step that marks a bold new phase in Turkey’s evolution as a global power.

Somalia’s strategic significance

The strategically important Somalia, seen as a gateway to the Red Sea, borders the Gulf of Aden to the north and the Indian Ocean to the east. Populated with more than 10 million people, the country, which has the longest coastline on Africa’s mainland, serves as a transit point onto Arabian Peninsula through Yemen.

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