Bearing military and medical gifts, Erdogan woos Africa

Turkey’s president is talking vaccines. Speaking at a landmark gathering of African leaders in Istanbul last weekend, he called the disparity in access to Covid-19 shots between the West and Africa “a global injustice.”

“It is disgraceful … that only 6% of Africa’s population has been vaccinated,” he said. Turkey, he said, would share 15 million doses of the vaccine with African nations.

The global disparity in vaccine access is indeed an injustice, one that makes the whole world less safe, as the emergence of new variants of the virus that causes this illness demonstrates. Turkey’s president was right to say that; he was also, of course, scoring political points.

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