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Misinformation, propaganda cloud Turkey's Africa policies

Myths and falsehoods abound in Turkish and Arab press about Turkey’s regional ventures, nourishing overblown elations and fears.
A military band performs during a graduation ceremony of soldiers loyal to Libya's UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), a result of a military training agreement with Turkey, at the Omar Mukhtar camp in the city of Tajoura, southeast of the capital Tripoli on November 21, 2020. (Photo by Mahmud TURKIA / AFP) (Photo by MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images)
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Turkey’s regional ventures, spurred by Ottoman nostalgia, have earned it a hostile Arab front led by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Though Turkey’s ambitions have hardly translated into a success story, they have fueled a plethora of myths and falsehoods that both Turks and Arabs are feeding off. 

In his comments on regional issues, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan often brings up the treaties that led to the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire or evoke the Ottoman legacy by, say, pledging Turkish citizenship to Lebanese Turks or speaking of one million ethnic Turks in Libya. For many in the Arab world, such statements are a signal that the Turks have designs on Arab lands and are eyeing a comeback. Maps of a “Greater Turkey” circulated by figures close to Erdogan have only fueled the suspicions. 

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