Turkey has a long history of aggression against Armenians; it has never acknowledged its genocide of 1.5 million Armenians at the end of the first world war. It was with Turkey’s funding, munitions and guidance that Azerbaijan attacked Armenian towns and cities in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh in September-November 2020. Armenian president Sarkissian said he wanted to visit NATO’s Brussels headquarters to “get explanations” as to why “Turkish weapons, drones and F-16 are involved in the process of bombing Armenia and Armenian civilians in huge numbers. These are NATO-made weapons: the engines from Austria, the avionics are from Canada and the parts of the rockets are from Britain and so on.”

Erdogan reportedly sent, and paid, mercenaries allied to Al-Qaida to Azerbaijan to attack Armenians in the disputed region. Some of these were given military training in Syria. Several sources state that 30 such mercenaries and their families were flown on a Turkish Airlines flight from the Turkish city of Antakya in Hatay province to the Azeri capital Baku.

The UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries said “the fighters deployed to Azerbaijan are allegedly affiliated with armed groups and individuals that, in some cases, have been accused of war crimes and serious human rights abuses during the conflict in Syria, thus seemingly perpetuating a cycle of impunity and risking further abuses of international law”.



Turkey has an estimated 1.3 to 5 or 6 million citizens of full or partial Albanian descent, many of whom feel a connection to Kosovo. Erdogan has said “Do not forget, Turkey is Kosovo, Kosovo is Turkey”.  The comments caused outrage in Serbia. Erdogan has over 500 troops operationL in Kosovo.

A few years ago Kosovan intelligence services illegally extradited six Turkish citizens on orders that were likely to have come directly Erdogan of Turkey through President Thaci. An investigation by a Kosovan parliamentary committee has revealed the extent of Erdogan’s pursuit of political opponents overseas, and how Ankara used a security agency that acted without the knowledge of the Kosovan prime minister. The Turkish men were legally resident in Kosovo when they were arrested one year ago. They were immediately extradited to Turkey, where they have been imprisoned in the notorious Silivri prison outside Istanbul.

Recently the president of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, resigned following an indictment for war crimes. He pleaded not guilty to all war crimes charges brought against him in his first appearance before a judge after being taken into custody in The Hague.

In 2018 Erdogan signed a $100 million agreement to invest in oil exploration and production in Sudan.

Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir was overthrown April 11 2019 by military coup. He was a good friend and close ally of  Erdogan. During his 30-year rule, Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court in 2009 and 2010, charged with five counts of crimes against humanity, two counts of war crimes and three counts of genocide for his alleged mass killings in Darfur that cost some 300,000 lives.

Bashir could travel safely to only a few places in the world and Turkey was one of them. The last time he visited Turkey was right after the June 2018 elections to join Erdogan’s inauguration ceremony.

Erdogan signed a deal with Bashir to rebuild and expand docking facilities at Suakin's modern port, and to establish a military presence further up the coast in Port Sudan, access to Sudan's coastline has once again become the subject of international competition.

Turkish military and police established several bases in Sudan to train Bashir’s forces.

Sudan has an interim government. There are reports that Erdogan is working with Qatar and Islamist factions to regain his influence in Sudan.



Turkey has a military base in Qatar, and in June 2017, Turkish parliament fast-tracked the deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar. Turkey plans to eventually station 3,000 troops on Qatari soil. Trade relations between the two countries have witnessed rapid developments in recent years.

In July 2020, the Qatari Foreign Minister hailed his country's relationship with Turkey. "Strategic relations between Qatar and Turkey are growing day by day, particularly in the economic, investment, commercial and energy fields, as well as defence cooperation to serve the common interests of our nations”.

A senior member of Erdogan’s ruling AK Party government received a $65 million bribe from Qatari intelligence to push ahead with a 2015 deal that allowed the deployment of Turkish troops to Qatar, according to Sweden-based monitoring site Nordic Monitor.

Nordic Monitor’s report cited an intercepted 19-page intelligence document that proved Ahmet Berat Conkar, the head of the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs commission at the time, secretly communicated with a Qatari intelligence officer regarding the deal.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut of diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar over Doha’s support of terrorism and issued a list of 13 demands, including the closing down of the Turkish military installation.



In September 2017, a Turkish military base was formally inaugurated in Mogadishu. Over 10,000 Somali soldiers were to be trained by the Turkish military at the facility. At the date of its construction, it was the largest overseas military facility built and managed by Turkey. Erdogan is providing advanced weapons and training for the Somali military, together with building extensive infrastructure, such as a 14-year contract in Somalia to operate and rehabilitate the port of Mogadishu, and control of another port – Hobyo.

Erdogan was given permission by Somalia to drill for oil off its coast. Ibrahim Nassir, an Africa analyst from Ankara-based think tank Ankasam, said the Somali drilling offer might be payback for some of the reconstruction work and humanitarian aid. But he also suggested that Somalia might be using Turkey as a counterbalance against its regional rivals.

In November 2020 it was reported that Erdogan, despite his collapsing economy, had agreed to pay off a significant amount of Somalia’s debt to the IMF.




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