Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Turkey employing its soft power to gain influence in Lebanon (2 – 4)

Wednesday 12/August/2020 - 04:37 PM
The Reference
Mahmud al-Batakoshi

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tries to gain influence in Lebanon and eradicate the identity of this Arab state.

Erdogan uses many tools to do this, including the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, which is widely known as TIKA.

The Turkish president uses this agency in collecting information about Lebanon, using a charity cloak.

Suffice it to say that the incumbent head of the Turkish intelligence agency, Hakan Fidan, was TIKA's head.

Suspicious arm

TIKA distributes tens of thousands of dollars in aid. It renovates schools and restores Islamic antiquities that date back to the Ottoman state in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. The agency also educates Lebanese youth about the importance of these antiquities and their history.

The agency has implemented more than 100 projects in Lebanon since 2007. They included ones for the support of public utilities, the restoration of churches and the construction of public parks.

The projects also included the construction of playgrounds and educational facilities. These projects are giving the chance for the Turkish flag to flutter in every part of Lebanon, including in the villages of this Arab country.

TIKA especially focuses on winning over Turkmen women. It offers vocational training programs for them, especially in the eastern part of Lebanon.

The programs aim at financially and professionally empowering the women and helping them earn an income.

This is why the Turkmen minority in Lebanon has more loyalty to Turkey than to Lebanon.

There is a protest in support of Turkey by the Turkmen minority whenever there is a protest against it by the Armenians.

Another arm

The Yunus Emre Institute is another soft power tool of Turkey in Lebanon.

The institute aims to spread the Turkish culture in this Arab state and promote Turkey among Lebanese citizens.

The institute also organizes visits to Lebanon by Turkish students who come to the country to get information about Turkish activities.

The institute was founded in 2011 following the Arab Spring revolutions.