ISTANBUL - A century after the last Ottoman soldier left Libya, Turkey is seeking to make a comeback in Africa, eager to consolidate its status as a regional power and to open new markets.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul's official visits to Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo last month underscored increased efforts by the Islamist-rooted government for closer contacts with the continent, where many share the country's predominantly Muslim faith.
In 2008 Turkey held a first summit of cooperation with African leaders and won the status of a "strategic partner" from the African Union.
The number of Turkish embassies on the continent has risen from 12 to 17 in the past two years.
"Africa is a region on which we will focus a lot in the coming years and decades," Turkey's deputy prime minister Ali Babacan, who is responsible for the economy, told said. - Sapa-AFP