Assessing Turkey’s Role in Somalia
"Somalis of all walks of life refer to Turkey’s arrival as a miracle and Godsend. But that honeymoon is ending. The famine’s back has been broken and Al-Shabaab has been pushed out of the capital – although it is still a serious threat. Now comes the hard part of consolidating the peace and rebuilding the state. Turkey faces incredibly high Somali expectations that will lead to disappointment unless well managed. In addition, some Somalis will continue to try to take advantage of Ankara’s good-will and limited knowledge of its clan dynamics and complex politics. Ankara should be under no illusion that it can continue working solo in Somalia. International actors that have traditionally played the lead role in Somalia are joining Turkey on the ground in Mogadishu. It will need to coordinate its efforts with others to achieve a durable peace in Somalia, because the alternative – poor coordination – will be exploited by Somali politicians, leading to unnecessary duplication and the waste of limited and badly needed resources. Traditional actors also need to understand that Turkey wants to play a leadership role, which most Somalis seem to want, at least for now."