Turkey-Somalia Relations: State Making Is Market Making Is Institutional Matrix of Politics?

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Erdem KAYSERILIOGLU, Koc University, Turkey
This study questions Turkey’s efforts in Somalia’s state-making process as a market-making intervention while analyzing the political economy of Turkey’s new capitalism. In 2011, Turkey's AKP government made a high-level visit to Somalia during the Ramadan to start a humanitarian campaign when Somalia suffered from a severe drought and famine. Until then Turkey spent an enormous effort to bridge diplomatic and commercial ties with Somalia. Though Turkish representatives maintained their humanitarian rhetoric and donations, Turkey's operations in Somalia aimed to reinforce extra-national market investments, which have included infrastructural and educational projects, airport and seaport constructions, land and naval force implementations, together with bilateral commercial agreements. In the end, Turkey's investments allowed its export to Somalia to increase from $2 million to $115 million between 2005 and 2016, while letting Turkey to become the world’s second largest donor country in 2016 with $6 billion humanitarian assistance. In fact, what enabled Turkish government's fiscal efforts to develop at the global level was the new organizational matrix established under neoliberal Islamic AKP rule. A closer scrutiny on Turkey-Somalia relations reveal that Turkey’s new business and civil society matrix, which have articulated pro-AKP business actors, Islamic foundations, and religious NGOs, played a prominent role in Turkey’s involvement in Somalia’s state and market-making. Therefore, this study analyzes Turkey’s market-making intervention in Somalia as an extension of Turkey’s new capitalism that benefits the power matrix established under AKP rule.