The Conflict Studies And Analysis Project
At The Global Initiative For Civil Stabilisation
Fostering Turkish-Nigerian Strategic Cooperation
Fulan Nasrullah is the Executive Director of the Conflict Studies And Analysis Project at the Global Initiative For Civil Stabilisation. He focuses on Nigeria’s national security architecture, the conflict in the Lake Chad region, the Nigerian military and strategic futures. He sometimes tweets via @fulannasrullah.
Ken’an E. Toprak is a Turkish researcher focusing on Turkish-Nigerian relations. He tweets via @kenanebubekir63
As both the Turkish and Nigerian governments pursue reorientations of their countries from previous courses they were following, it has become imperative that they seek partnership and cooperation outside the traditional areas, they were tied to, in order to sustain the trajectories they are setting their countries on.
In an era of increasing great power competition, where large powers increasingly use a variety of coercive means (sanctions for the US, and debt for China) to compel small states into their respective camps, middle powers that are too big to be easily coerced into submission by great powers, and yet too small to challenge the great powers directly, can balance out pressure from the larger powers and their poles and also project out of their areas, by aligning strategically with like minded middle powers.
Such an arrangement is more beneficial as it allows powers of equal capabilities in geographically divergent regions that cannot otherwise project power, into each others spheres of influence, to work together to achieve mutually beneficial goals of maintaining strategic autonomy, and playing on a global strategy. For example we currently see a growing alignment between Japan, India and Australia, to balance out China, and France and Germany to shepherd European integration and stability in the face of American uncertainty and also balance out the threat posed by Russia.
To that end, we decided to examine what a strategic partnership between two middle powers i.e Nigeria and Turkey would look like. In putting together this paper, we interviewed private actors and government officials, especially diplomats and businessmen, in both countries, and from our conversations plus our assessment of the state of bilateral relations etc, we have written what we hope is a road map of sorts, to serve as a reference on fostering a strategic partnership between Nigeria and Turkey.