Turkish President Erdogan eyes control over the strategic Red Sea

Cairo/Jerusalem/Ankara: – Since the last few years, Turkey is making efforts to increase its influence in Somalia. The Turkish ambition of dominating the strategically important Red Sea sector is behind this effort. But Egypt has started opposing these efforts. Egypt has begun moves to form a front with Israel and Sudan to bust the Turkish plot. The media from Turkey and other Gulf countries have said that senior Egyptian officials have given such indications. Only last month, an agreement was formed between Israel and Sudan to establish diplomatic relations with mediation from the United States.   

In the last few years, Turkish President Recep Erdogan has started showing the dreams of the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish population. Accordingly, Erdogan has begun taking strong efforts to increase Turkish influence. It is being said that Erdogan’s ambition of leading the Islamic world is the reason for this. Turkish interference is seen in countries from Africa to southeast Asia on the strength of Turkish culture and economic and military might. Turkey has also started growing its influence in Somalia since the last decade. Currently, Turkey is emerging as the leading partner and ally of Somalia.  

Till date, Turkey has invested more than USD 1 billion in Somalia. This includes, along with Camp TURKSOM, the largest hospital in the country, an airport near the capital Mogadishu, embassy, infrastructure projects, and cooperation in the technology sector. TURKSOM is known to be the most extensive Turkish military base in a foreign country. More than 200 Turkish soldiers are deployed on this base, and the objective is to create a unit of 10,000 Turkish speaking Somalian soldiers. A report had also been received, at the beginning of this year, that Turkey has been invited to carry out oil exploration in the Somalian marine region.   

The increasing Turkish movements in Somalia have not gone down well with Egypt. The fear of Turkey gaining control of the Red Sea through the medium of Somalia could come as a major blow for Egypt. Therefore, Egypt plans to bust the Turkish ambition, forming an alliance with Israel and Sudan. The analysts and journalists, from Sudan, have predicted a strong possibility of Saudi Arabia joining this front in the future. Whereas, the Turkish media claimed that a meeting of senior officials from Israel, Sudan and Egypt is also scheduled to be held in the next few days. 

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