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Why Turkey's Erdogan sings the same tune with Russia's Putin in Africa

Turkey’s efforts to expand its influence in Africa often align with those of Russia, with both Ankara and Moscow holding back from condemning military coups and seeking to capitalize on post-colonial resentments.
Somalis celebrate the victory of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he won the presidential run-off election during the celebrations organised by the government in Mogadishu, on May 29, 2023.
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A series of military takeovers in West Africa, the latest occurring in Niger last month, reveal the extent to which Turkish and Russian efforts converge in trying to leverage political shifts to the detriment of former colonial powers, chief among them France, and expand their own influence in the region.

Keen to seize opportunities under the new African governments, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, have refrained from condemning the putschists riding the wave of popular resentment toward the ongoing influence of former colonial powers and the failure of Western-led anti-terror operations in the region.

Speaking at a Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg shortly after the July 26 coup in Niger, Putin remarked that some manifestations of colonialism remain in Africa and underlie the instability in many regions on the continent. Erdogan has employed similar rhetoric for years, in particular targeting France. 

Undermining France

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