Insight Turkey
Insight Turkey
Challenging ideas
On Turkish politics and International affairs

Insight Turkey > Articles |

Reinvention of Turkish Foreign Policy in Latin America: The Cuba Case

The current research has the purpose of analyzing Turkey’s approach toward Latin America and the Caribbean region through the prism of soft power theory, and through a specific case study, i.e. Turkey-Cuba relations. The working assumption is that Turkey has been able to increase its presence and influence in the region, thanks to a particular soft power-oriented approach known as multi-dimensional policy, which reflects both new behavior and new agents. An analysis of Turkey-Cuba relations will not only help to improve the literature about Turkey’s foreign policy on a subject which has not yet been adequately examined, but will also underline features and peculiarities of Turkey’s soft power, such as the emerging “Mosque Diplomacy.”.

Reinvention of Turkish Foreign Policy in Latin America The Cuba
Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) and his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro (R) shake hands during a meeting at Revolution Palace in Havana, on February 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ADALBERTO ROQUE
 

Introduction

On 11 February 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a visit to Cuba as part of a three-leg Latin American tour. This was the second visit of a high-level Turkish delegation to Latin American countries, the first being in 1995. Erdoğan’s trip drew the attention of international media and scholars to the special features of Turkey’s relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.

Turkey’s political, economic and cultural influence in regional and global affairs has been gradually increasing in the last few years, following a multi-directional or multi-regional vocation. In the last decade, Turkey’s growing relevance in different regions has gone beyond that of a trade partner. Under the AK Party, Turkey has launched a so called paradigm shift in its foreign policy, which former Prime Minister and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Ahmet Davutoğlu1 underlines as a ‘Multi-Dimensional Foreign Policy Approach.’ Following Davutoğlu’s guidelines, Turkey has formed new routes in international policy and enhanced those new routes with humanitarian and development aid, making use of both the cultural element and the religious dimension. As part of this larger initiative, policies aimed at strengthening Turkey’s strategic ties were directed toward Latin America and the Caribbean region, including Cuba. Thanks to this new approach and to Turkey’s economic growth, Ankara is now acknowledged as a development partner that provides humanitarian aid and developmental assistance, mainly through the gradual involvement of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA). In light of these trends, Turkey’s soft power in the region is growing. 

Already have an account? Sign In.
Print Subscription
4 Print Issues
Subscribe
Digital Subscription
4 Digital Issues
Subscribe
Premium Subscription
4 Print Issues
4 Digital Issues
Subscribe

Labels »  

We use cookies in a limited and restricted manner for specific purposes. For more details, you can see "our data policy". More...