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International relations

Turkey in Africa pitches non-Chinese, non-Western model

New Senegalese stadium meant not as a gift but a showcase of Turkish prowess

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan passes the ball to Senegalese President Macky Sall at the new Olympic Stadium in Dakar, Senegal. (Photo courtesy of the Turkish Presidency)

ISTANBUL -- Standing next to George Weah, the international soccer star turned Liberian president, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was all smiles on the green pitch of the brand new Olympic Stadium in Dakar, Senegal.

Nearly filled to its 50,000-seat capacity, the stadium erupted in cheers as Senegalese President Macky Sall began to lift a ball with his feet. Erdogan, himself an ex-semiprofessional soccer player, soon joined in flashing his footwork alongside other heads of states from Rwanda, Guinea-Bissau and Gambia.

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