In a significant move towards bolstering regional security and economic cooperation, Somalia and Turkey have signed a new security pact that extends over the next decade. This agreement commissions the Turkish navy to train and equip its Somali counterpart, marking a pivotal step in both nations’ strategic ambitions. While the primary focus of the pact is on enhancing Somalia’s maritime security, it also underscores Turkey’s aspiration to project its maritime power beyond its shores.

Background and Significance

The newly forged security pact between Somalia and Turkey is not an isolated event but rather a continuation of a deepening relationship that dates back over a decade. Turkey has been one of the few nations to consistently support Somalia through thick and thin, providing humanitarian aid, development assistance, and military support. This relationship has now entered a new strategic phase with the signing of the security and subsequent energy deals.

Key Details of the Security Pact

Although the full details of the security pact remain undisclosed, its core components are clear. The Turkish navy will train and equip the Somali naval forces, helping them patrol and secure their extensive coastline, which is the longest in Africa at 3,300 kilometers. This includes providing naval platforms, conducting joint operations, and sharing crucial maritime information.

Turkey’s involvement is a strategic move to enhance its defense industry and expand its military presence in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea. The pact is mutually beneficial: while Somalia gains much-needed maritime security capabilities, Turkey secures a foothold in a region critical to global maritime traffic and rich in untapped marine resources.

Economic and Strategic Dimensions

The pact is closely tied to a second deal that allows Turkish oil and gas exploration in Somali waters. Effectively, Somalia has leased its territorial waters and marine resources to Turkey, which will receive a 30% share of the revenues from these activities. This arrangement provides Turkey with a significant economic incentive and a strategic advantage over other international players, including the United States, which also has exploration deals in Somali waters.

Historical Context and Turkish Involvement in Somalia

Turkey’s involvement in Somalia began in earnest in 2011 with substantial humanitarian aid. Over the years, this evolved into strategic support, including reopening and managing Mogadishu’s seaport and airport, and leading an international partnership to train and equip the Somali National Army. In 2017, Turkey opened its first overseas military base in Mogadishu, further solidifying its presence.

The Military Training Program

Turkey’s training programs in Somalia have been particularly successful. Hundreds of professional Somali officers graduate annually, and thousands of Somali troops, including special commandos known as Gorgor, have been trained at the Turkish military base. These troops have made a significant impact in stabilizing parts of the country plagued by conflict and insurgency.

Strategic Obligations and Mutual Benefits

The security pact obligates Turkey to protect its interests in Somalia, which includes safeguarding its economic investments and ensuring the stability of the region. For Somalia, the benefits extend beyond immediate security enhancements. Stronger maritime institutions and capabilities will help combat illegal fishing, piracy, and protect vital submarine cables that connect the region’s digital infrastructure.

Energy Exploration and Economic Potential

The energy deal signed alongside the security pact could be transformative for Somalia. Geological surveys indicate that Somalia’s waters hold potential reserves of oil and natural gas equivalent to 30 billion barrels. This places Somalia on par with Kazakhstan, a significant oil producer. The exploration and potential extraction of these resources could substantially boost Somalia’s economy, which has long struggled with poverty and instability.

Geopolitical Implications

The pact between Somalia and Turkey has broader geopolitical implications. It positions Turkey as a key player in the Horn of Africa, a region of strategic importance due to its proximity to major maritime routes. It also counters the influence of other regional powers, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has its own interests in Somalia and the wider region.

Regional Dynamics and Rivalries

The UAE has significant investments in Somalia and Somaliland, the latter of which is seeking international recognition of its independence from Somalia. This creates a complex web of alliances and rivalries. The UAE’s support for Somaliland’s port of Berbera and Ethiopia’s lease of a strip of Somaliland’s coast for naval and commercial use further complicate the regional dynamics.


The Somalia-Turkey security pact marks a significant step in both countries’ strategic trajectories. For Somalia, it offers a path towards enhanced security, economic development, and eventual reintegration into the international community. For Turkey, it represents an opportunity to expand its influence, secure economic interests, and project power in a critical region. The success of this partnership will depend on the effective implementation of the agreements and the ability to navigate the complex geopolitical landscape of the Horn of Africa.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: What are the main components of the Somalia-Turkey security pact?
A1: The main components include the training and equipping of the Somali navy by Turkey, joint naval operations, and information sharing to enhance maritime security.

Q2: How does the pact benefit Turkey?
A2: It allows Turkey to expand its military presence in the Horn of Africa, secure economic interests through oil and gas exploration, and enhance its defense industry’s global footprint.

Q3: What economic benefits does Somalia gain from the pact?
A3: Somalia benefits from improved maritime security, which will help protect its marine resources, reduce illegal fishing and piracy, and potentially boost its economy through oil and gas revenue sharing.

Q4: How does this pact affect regional geopolitics?
A4: It shifts the balance of power in the Horn of Africa, positioning Turkey as a key player and countering the influence of the UAE and other regional actors.

Q5: What are the potential challenges to the successful implementation of the pact?
A5: Challenges include navigating regional rivalries, ensuring the effective training and integration of Somali naval forces, and managing the complex geopolitical landscape.

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By Ryan Hite

Ryan Hite is an American author, content creator, podcaster, and media personality. He was born on February 3, 1993, in Colorado and spent his childhood in Conifer, Colorado. He moved to Littleton in 2000 and spent the remainder of his schooling years in the city. Upon graduation from Chatfield Senior High School in 2011, he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated from the university in 2015 after studying Urban Planning, Business Administration, and Religious Studies. He spent more time in Colorado in the insurance, real estate, and healthcare industries. In 2019, he moved to Las Vegas, NV, where he continued to work in healthcare, insurance, and took his foray into media full time in 2021. His first exposure to the media industry came as a result of the experiences he had in his mid to late teens and early twenties. In 2013, he was compelled to collect a set of stories from his personal experiences and various other writings that he has had. His first book, a 365,000-word epic, Through Minds Eyes, was published in collaboration with Balboa Press. That initial book launched a media explosion. He learned all that he could about creating websites, marketing his published works, and would even contemplate the publication of other works as well. This book also inspired him to create his philosophy, his life work, that still influences the values that he holds in his life. Upon graduating college, he had many books published, blogs and other informative websites uploaded, and would embark on his continued exploration of the world of marketing, sales, and becoming an influencer. Of course, that did not come without challenges that would come his way. His trial-and-error approach of marketing himself and making himself known guided him through his years as a real estate agent, an insurance agent, and would eventually create a marketing plan from scratch with a healthcare startup. The pandemic did not initially create too many challenges to the status quo. Working from home did not affect the quality of his life. However, a series of circumstances such as continued website problems, social media shutdowns, and unemployment, caused him to pause everything between late 2020 and mid-2021. It was another period of loss of momentum and purpose for his life as he tried to navigate the world, as many people may have felt at that time. He attempted to find purpose in insurance again, resulting in failure. There was one thing that sparked his curiosity and would propel him to rediscover the thing that was gone from his life for so long. In 2021, he started his journey by taking on a full-time job in the digital media industry, an industry that he is still a part of today. It was at this point that he would also shut down the rest of the media that he had going at the time. In 2023, he announced that he would be embarking on what has become known as PROJECT30. This initiative will result in the reformation of websites, the reinvigoration of social media accounts, the creation of a Youtube channel and associated podcast, the creation of music, and the continued rediscovery of his creative potential. Unlike past projects, the purpose of this would not expound on the musings of a philosophy, the dissemination of useless news and articles, or the numerous attempts to be someone that he was not. This project is going to be about his authentic self. There are many ways to follow him as he embarks on this journey. Most of all, he wants everyone to be entertained, informed, and, in some ways, maybe a little inspired about the flourishing of the creativity that lies within the mind and soul of Ryan.

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