Dr. Yassir M. Alobaid
Bilateral relations between any two countries of the world in various fields represent one of the most prominent manifestations and manifestations of positive interaction in the international arena from the perspective of interests, especially in light of the direction of cooperation and exchange of benefits rather than relations of conflict, tension, and strife, which began to prevail since the Cold War.
Despite the developments that have occurred in the international arena since that time, they imposed with force the trend towards multi-lateral relations and made them a dominant feature in international interactions in the form of economic blocs, but on the other hand, there is a lot of evidence around the world confirming the effectiveness of bilateral relations within the framework of economic cooperation Social and cultural relations between the two countries and achieving common gains between them.
In this context, many developing and developed countries alike have established bilateral cooperation relations that have resulted in positive and beneficial results for the two countries. Sudan and Turkey are not an exception in this regard, but rather they need to develop their relationship more effectively and take advantage of the opportunities in the two countries in pursuit of their economic interests in the denial of cooperation and trade, commodity, cultural and strategic exchange as it has become an urgent and necessary need for each of them. That most we can talk about it.
The history of Sudanese-Turkish relations goes back to 1555 when the region came under the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, where the Ottomans established what is known as the Habash Eyalet over part of eastern Sudan and part of the current state of Eritrea, and the capital of that governorate was the city of Suakin.
As for central and southern Sudan, their relationship with the Turks began in 1821 when Muhammad Ali Pasha invaded Sudan. And the continuation of his state in ruling the country until its fall at the hands of the Mahdia revolutionaries in 1885. The Turks had a clear influence in many areas in Sudan, and their effects remain today, such as agriculture, crafts, health, and medical services, transportation, regular forces, and even in the field of food culture. The influence of the Turks on the language of The people of Sudan still exists today.
In modern history, Sudan established the first resident diplomatic representation with Turkey in 1981, when the same year witnessed the first visit of a Sudanese president to Turkey, Jaafar Nimeiri, and relations developed and flourished at a steady pace at the beginning of this century, especially after the signing of the peace agreement and the formation of the national unity government in 2005 and after The advent of the Justice and Development Party to power in Turkey in 2002, and when the following period witnessed great progress in political relations and the views of the two countries’ viewpoints matched on most political and bilateral issues regional and international.
Turkey is not the only country that wants to establish economic and political relations with Sudan. Many powers and countries are seeking to establish real partnerships with Sudan, such as the European Union, the United States of America, India, China, South Korea, and Japan. These partnerships seek to accelerate the pace of economic development, industrialization, energy, and infrastructure. Developing and owning technology and developing human capital, and Turkey should adopt new patterns of cooperation with Sudan in light of local and regional changes in the international arena to be attractive to Sudan and make a cooperation with Turkey effective and positive.
Talking about the Turkish trend towards Sudan during the past two decades is an important entry point to talk about the background of the positive trend in cooperation with Sudan in various fields, on top of which is economic cooperation.
The volume of trade exchange is limited, amounting to $291 million in 2013, about 260 million dollars in 2014, and $320 million in 2015.
The most important commodities exchanged: from Sudan are agricultural exports, and from Turkey are electrical appliances, industrial and agricultural production inputs, and clothing.
The Turkish Export Development Bank contributed to infrastructure projects in the state of Khartoum (Al-Mak Nimr Bridge, Halfaya Bridge – Bahri Water, Bahri Sewage) within the range of $100 million.
Turkey provided Sudan with a credit facility of $100 million in 2008 to encourage Turkish companies, and it was raised to $200 million.
Turkey provided a grant to establish the Turkish Hospital in El Kalakla, with a value of 4.7 million dollars, in 2000.
Turkey allocated a $50 million grant to establish the Turkish Hospital in Nyala.
Turkey offers several annual treatment grants to Sudanese patients.
The Turkish Development and Cooperation Agency (TIKA) has constructed several projects as grants to Sudan, including:
1- Nyala Hospital for 50 million (it was opened in February 2014).
2- Vocational Training Center in Khartoum.
3- Artificial insemination lab in conveyors.
4- Rehabilitation of Darfur universities laboratories.
5- Restoration of antiquities in Suakin