Turkey has become one of Somalia’s most important partners, providing humanitarian and development aid, military training and private investment. Its novel approach has strengthened the fledgling Somali Federal Government (SFG) at a critical moment, boosting its revenues and enhancing its capacity to maintain peace and stability. This kind of support, however, also entails risks. Over the past five years the main peacebuilding strategy of the Turkish government has been to provide financial and military support to the SFG. However, while this has empowered and stabilised the fledging ruling coalition, it has also jeopardised the peace by favouring certain clans over others and bolstering a relatively unaccountable central government. The greatest challenges for Turkey’s involvement in Somalia will be promoting inclusivity and transparency, as well as fostering greater internal coherence and coordination among Turkey’s various aid providers.
Authors: Jason Stearns and Gizem Sucuoglu