In recent years, Turkey's interest in the African continent has been growing rapidly. Africa's expectations towards Ankara are also extremely high, as the Somalia case shows.
The role of TUSKON and Gülen
At the forefront of economic expansion in Africa is the Turkish Confederation of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (TUSKON), that brings together the new class of entrepreneurs that became economically powerful during the AKP government since 2005.
The federation operates mainly in the major cities of Anatolia, accumulating capital through export and operating primarily in foreign markets.
TUSKON is also known to be close to the powerful movement of theologian and former [preacher] Fethullah Gülen, otherwise known as "Hizmet" (Service) – a movement that has Islam as its starting point, but extends to the world of business, media, foundations, and NGOs (like "Kimse Yok Mu?", active in Africa). In Gülen's vision, education is central and a network of schools operates in more than 70 countries, including several African ones. In Africa, the movement now has 34 schools, not only in Muslim-majority countries.
Excepted from the article published on Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, 21 February 2013, Thursday
'Gulen Movement has been the driving force behind many of the new relationships between Turkey and sub-Saharan African nations'