French press closely follows Turkish president's trip to Africa

Le Figaro, Le Monde, Radio France Internationale praise Turkey's unmanned combat aerial vehicles

Yusuf Özcan   | 20.10.2021
French press closely follows Turkish president's trip to Africa


Closely following the Turkish president's ongoing visit to African countries, including Angola, Nigeria, and Togo, the French press on Tuesday praised Turkey's unmanned combat aerial vehicles.

Featuring a story -- titled Erdogan strengthens his presence in Africa -- daily Le Figaro said Recep Tayyip Erdogan noticed the decreasing interest of colonial western powers in the African continent, after which he began to make his presence felt in Muslim African countries.

The story said Turkish Airlines had been the only major airline that operated flights to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, where the western powers conducted military operations in 1992-1994.

During his visit to Angola and Nigeria, Erdogan will also discuss exporting mainly the unmanned combat aerial vehicles, or UCAVs, to Africa as they can operate on four fronts, the story added.

Dream weapons in wars across globe

The story added that the Turkish UCAVs were used to neutralize Ismail Ozden, the so-called executive council member of the KCK/PKK terrorist organization in Iraq in August 2018. They also prevented the attacks from the Russian mercenaries and Khalifa Haftar, the leader of illegitimate forces in eastern Libya, pulverized the Bashar al-Assad regime in Idlib in northern Syria, and brought victory to the Azerbaijani forces during the recent Karabakh war.

Referring to the UCAVs as "the weapons that are dreamed of in wars across the world," Le Figaro noted that they are 20 times cheaper than warcraft, and do not risk the lives of their pilots.

It said the weapons have become a vector of the Turkish influence in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, "the influence which Erdogan has cleverly developed without having disputes with stronger countries such as the US, China, and Russia."

"However, he does not hesitate to challenge less strong countries like France," it continued, noting that Erdogan won a wrist wrestling against France off Libya coast in June 2020.

Daily Le Monde announced Erdogan's visit to Africa with the headline "Erdogan is trying to expand its influence over Africa," and said he has visited 30 countries in Africa.

It added that Turkey's relations with Africa also involve security issues, unlike the periods when Turkey defined its ties with the continent only in terms of economy.

The story added that Turkey's aim in the visit to Angola is to expand the trade volume from $176 million to $500 million, saying Angola is a regional power that Turkey can trust with its goals concerning the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Turkey has increased the number of its embassies from nine to 43, and expanded its trade volume from $4 billion to $26 billion, Le Monde also noted.

France's state-run Radio France Internationale (RFI) said the economy is one of the aspects of the strategic partnership between Africa and Turkey.

RFI noted the rise of Turkey's trade volume with Africa over the last 20 years, and said Turkey desires to double its trade volume with Nigeria.

It added that Erdogan has traveled to 30 African countries, Turkey has 43 embassies across the continent, and Turkish Airlines operates flights to 60 cities in Africa.

Regarding the Turkish UCAVs, RFI said they are cheaper than those of the west, while they have better quality than those of China.

* Writing by Dilan Pamuk in Ankara

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