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.