Erdogan’s administration hopes Sudan-US relations’ rupture may lead to a revival of tight ties with Khartoum.
Turkey, Omar al-biggest Bashir’s ally, lost influence in Sudan after civilians took control in 2019.
Despite the fact that Ankara is not as tightly linked to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who assumed power on October 25, as Egypt and the Emirates are, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government expects that the collapse of relations with Europe and the US would lead to the revival of strong ties with Khartoum.
Sudan is attempting to rectify the trajectory of its ties with Turkey and overcome a period of around two years of political estrangement, while Ankara also strives to strengthen relations with regional neighbours Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Abdel-Fattah Al-Burhan visited Turkey in August at the request of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Burhan met with businesses and investors in Ankara, which was attended by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.
Then he voiced optimism about the potential of increasing commerce with Turkey to two billion dollars.
Sudan’s ties with Turkey are improving in line with its better relations with Qatar. Following the Al-Ula meeting in Saudi Arabia last January, which reset the direction of ties between Qatar and the Arab four, relations with Doha have seen significant advancements.
According to observers, Burhan was anxious about the outcome of his deputy’s journey to Turkey before the end of last May, during which he got material and spiritual assistance as well as an agreement with Ankara to sign certain agreements outside his official prerogatives.
Burhan is alleged to have been concerned that his deputy’s approach would raise suspicion about the existence of a quarrel between the two of them or that Ankara had established special relations with Daglo.
According to observers, the President of the Sovereignty Council wants to assume control of international affairs, particularly when dealing with important matters, even though he is ready to delegate certain specifics to the transitional administration.
Burhan’s visit coincides with visible shifts in Turkish debate on the country’s ideological stance. Ankara has reduced its support for Sudanese Islamists, making the Sovereignty Council less hesitant about collaboration and more inclined to pursue Turkish-Sudanese shared areas of interest based on strategic objectives.
Youssef Mohamed Zain, a member of Sudan’s Council of Transitional Period Partners, emphasised that the visit intends to put an end to the obstacles that have impeded the two nations from establishing regular relations. On top of these concerns is Ankara’s support for Sudan’s Islamist movement.
According to him, there is a propensity in the Sovereignty Council to demand a stop to such assistance in return for enabling Turkish economic prospects in Sudan.
Although Burhan’s visit has been primarily commercial in nature, security and political considerations cannot be overlooked as Khartoum strives to strike a compromise between Ankara’s desire to pursue investments in Sudan and Khartoum’s want to ensure that there are no security dangers emanating from Turkey.
Suleiman Sari, spokesperson for the Arab Coalition for Sudan, said that talks regarding normalising diplomatic ties with Turkey must be postponed for the time being since Ankara harbours a number of “enemy of the Sudanese revolution” affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
He also said that there are Turkish investors in Sudan who are sought at home but have not been deported.
He said that Sudanese official silence on Turkish intervention raises various problems and suggests that there are groups inside Sudan’s interim government that are eager to defend Turkish interests.
Among other things, Khartoum wants to avoid a conflict with Ankara and persuade it to limit its support for Sudan’s regional competitor, Ethiopia.
Analysts say Burhan is also attempting to capitalise on regional and international overtures in order to obtain political and economic benefits that would strengthen his grip on power at home and smooth his country’s ties with the rest of the world.