Turkey and South Africa: A Relationship of Regional Powers: A Relationship of Regional Powers

Michael B. Bishku

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This is an examination of the political, economic and cultural ties between a member of NATO, sometimes at odds with the Western Alliance (Turkey) and a prominent country in the Non-Aligned Movement (South Africa) from the late 1980s up to the present. Turkey regards South Africa as a key state in the continent in its more recent engagement in Africa, while South Africa sees Turkey as an essential relationship in the Middle East. They share some common concerns regarding the respective regions of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, respectively, like peacekeeping and development in Africa and the politics of the Israel–Palestine situation. Turkey has maintained cultural ties with South Africa’s Muslim population, but is concerned about the Gülenist presence in South Africa. While the two countries have cooperated in political endeavors, trade and investment seem most prominent in their relationship. In recent years, there have been several reciprocal visits by leaders of both countries underlining the importance of the relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-171
Number of pages18
JournalContemporary Review of the Middle East
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • AKP
  • ANC
  • foreign relations
  • post-Cold War
  • South Africa
  • Turkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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