The Star alliance member launched twice a week service this week between Istanbul and Mogadishu via Khartoum.

After 20 years of isolation from the commericial aviation world, Somalia will have Turkish provide both international and intra-Somali flights. Turkish confirmed that all repairs and precautions have been completed to allow safe transit.

According to Turkish Airlines, the logic is to use Somalia as a springboard to improving Turkey’s presence in Africa. After overtures from China, Brazil and India (your basic BRIC nations) seeking to expanding their presence in Africa, Turkey decided to join the race.

My question though is why Somalia? Aside from the obvious security and safety issues for airline operations, would Turkey not be concerned about the impression that would make on the US and EU, especially since it is awaiting to join the EU? With Somalia having little to no diplomatic relations with most countries this decision baffles me. I would think there would be better African conduits to accomplish it’s goal as a presence on the continent.

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