Re-examining the âBaseâ: The Political and Security Dimensions of Turkeyâs Military Presence in Somalia
October 5, 2018
In late 2017, Turkey opened a facility to train the Somali National Army. Routinely described as a military base since, the move has caused consternation within and beyond the region and is held up as proof that a new scramble for Africa is underway. By contextualizing this new military mission within Turkeyâs wider role in Somalia, this article demonstrates why the term âbaseâ is misleading and how training the SNA is consistent with Turkeyâs foreign policy aims in the country. As the SNA becomes a more powerful security actor, the article also shows how it may be (mis) used, by whom, and for what purposes, and identifies the risks this might pose for Turkey, Somalia and the wider region.