No Strings Attached: Understanding Turkey’s Arms Exports to Africa


Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, vol.26, no.3, pp.378-395, 2024 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/19448953.2023.2236515
  • Journal Name: Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Historical Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, Index Islamicus, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.378-395
  • Keywords: arms export, defence industry, military diplomacy, Africa
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


Turkey’s defence industries have shown significant development in recent years. But the limited domestic market and the financial crisis created sustainability problems for the industry. To increase its arms sales, Turkey began to search for potential markets to expand, and Africa emerged as an excellent market to enter. Turkey had already invested in Africa through its multi-track diplomacy, a necessary condition for arms sales. While the multi-track diplomacy and increased engagement helped Turkey’s arms exports, they are insufficient to explain the recent rise of Turkish arms exports, which have been showing an upward trend since 2021. This paper argues that the increase in arms exports is the function of multi-track diplomacy, no-strings-attached arms export policy and the demonstration effect.