Somalia to mark ‘Turkey-Somalia Day’

Somalia to mark ‘Turkey-Somalia Day’

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Speaking in an interview with Turkish newspaper, the Somali Prime Minister Abdu Farah Shirdon described Turkey as an ‘irreplaceable friend’ and vowed to mark ‘Turkey-Somalia Day’ in the calendar.

In an interview with Turkey’s Yeni Safak newspaper, the Prime Minister of Somalia Abdu Farah Shirdon described Turkey as an ‘irreplaceable friend’ to his country. ‘No one can take Turkey’s place,’ he said, adding ‘Turkey will always been an example nation for us.’

Pointing out the importance of the religious ties between the two countries, he also touched on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the country on 19 August 2011. He was the first non-African leader to visit Somalia in almost two decades.

‘On that day, the fate of Somalia changed,’ Shirdon said. ‘Before Erdogan came no one would come to visit us. We were completely isolated…after that day, the world changed its view of us. Other countries and leaders started showing interest in us.’ Continuing, he said, ‘we will declare 19 August 2011 as Turkey-Somalia Day.’

The Somali leader also mentioned that Turkey has promised to help Somalia combat terrorism by providing them with special training, although no official agreement has been signed yet. Over the summer, a Turkish Special Forces officer named Sinan Yilmaz lost his life in a bomb attack against the Turkish embassy in Mogadishu. After expressing his upset over the attack, he said that a local school would be named after the killed officer in his memory.

Turkish businessmen have been increasing there investments in the country. A Turkish firm now manages the Aden Abdulle airport in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital city, after taking control of it from the British on 15 September. There are five Turkish Airlines fights to Somalia every day. ‘The airport can now be modernized,’ Shirdon said.

Additionally, he expressed his happiness in announcing the opening of new hospital in the near future built by the Albayrak Group, a Turkish firm.