Erdogan is seeking to infiltrate Lebanon with his own worldview via the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TiKA) drawing on Turkish cultural projects and the Ministry of Culture.
To this end, it founded the Ottoman Studies Centre to associate Lebanon with an Ottoman past, for which Erdogan has a strong passion. TiKA is one of the tools used by Erdogan to boost his influence in Lebanon, as the agency plays a dubious role in state affairs and collects information allegedly for humanitarian aid. The agency is part of the Turkish intelligence system. The present chief of the Turkish Intelligence Service, Hakan Fidan, was a former head of TiKA.
Erdogan’s Foreign Minister visited Beirut very shortly after the deadly explosion at the port, promising financial aid and Turkish citizenship to Lebanon's Turkmen minority. There is evidence of arms smuggling by Turkey with Sunni organizations in Lebanon, through Syria. In June 2020 Sunni demonstrations took place in Lebanon against the Armenian minority. Protesters held Turkish flags and shouted slogans praising the Armenian genocide.
He is sending weapons to the Sunni in northern Lebanon, further destabilising an unstable country. Erdogan is also attempting to infiltrate the Lebanese political system through the exercise of soft power. Erdogan aims to gain and exploit Lebanese support for his ideas and objectives on the ground. One such example is demonstrated by Mounir Hassan, a pro-Turkish Lebanese voice. Hassan responded to criticism of Turkey made by Der Haroutiounian, an Armenian Christian television show host, by stating that “[w]e and our Turkish and Ottoman ancestors are proud of the massacre [which was actually a genocide] that our Ottoman ancestors carried out against the Armenians, because you deserve it.”