The African continent is witnessing a noticeable growth in the activity of international security companies. The Libyan crisis has revealed the growing role of the Turkish company SADAT International Defense Consultancy in Libya, especially after its involvement in the training of militias associated with the Government of National Accord (GNA) since November 2019, and the letter of the United Nations (UN) to the Turkish government in June 2020 to inquire about the role of SADAT in recruiting and transferring Syrian mercenaries and children to Libya. This raises many questions about the nature of the company's security role, the motives and limits of that role, and the risks of its expansion on the African continent.
The Turkish positions condemning the recent rapprochement between the UAE and Israel and the conclusion of a peace treaty between the two countries came to reflect the reality of the Turkish positions on regional developments that began to surround Turkey from several aspects. Today, Turkey lives in a state of political alienation on more than one front. It has started to forge close ties with the forces of chaos and anarchy in the Middle East, its role in Iraq and Libya being a clear example of this.
The potential role Turkey could play in Africa -- mainly in the context of countering Chinese economic influence -- emerged as a question in a webinar organized by the Turkish-American Business Council (TAIK). TAIK is led by Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, a Turkish industrialist with strong connections and a business partnership with the Trump family, particularly with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, through his ownership of Trump Towers in Turkey.
Under such circumstance one has to ask pertinent questions: Is a strategy of Turkish-American cooperation to counter Chinese influence in Africa based on sound assumptions? Does Turkey have major influence in Africa? Is there strategic convergence between Turkish-American interests? As we will see the premise underpinning the feasibility of Turkish-American cooperation in Africa remains uncertain and speculative.
Turkey's signature with the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj of two memorandums of understanding to define maritime rights and security and military cooperation between the two countries in November 2019 marked a turning point in the Turkish intervention in the Libyan arena. The operation has become a direct, open and qualitative intervention, as a result of which Turkey increased its military support for the GNA forces. In addition to providing them with sophisticated weapon systems, it also provided them with Turkish military advisers and Syrian mercenaries loyal to it. This contributed to transforming the course of the battle and the success by the GNA forces in evicting the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Haftar from the cities of the West Coast, Tripoli and its suburbs, the al-Watiya air base, and the city of Tarhuna, and their retreat towards the city of Sirte and the military base of Jufra in central Libya.
Turkey is today undergoing significant political turbulence. President Erdogan’s popularity is in decline and the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) appears increasingly vulnerable to
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