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Turkish president cuts ribbons at newly built Turkish embassy

Storyline:National News

The Turkish President Erdoğan who arrived in Mogadishu hours ago has cut the ribbon of the opening of the largest Turkish embassy in Africa which covers 10,000 square meters in  80,000-square meter area.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the president said that Turkey will maintain its support for Somalis to live in peace and safety.

Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdoğan, Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci have also attended the ceremony.

Turkey opened its embassy in Somalia in 2011 and began functioning as part of Turkey’s increasing efforts to help Somalia amid famine and long-running domestic instability.

Turkey’s role in Somalia has gained significance since Erdoğan’s visit in 2011 as prime minister, the first head of the Turkish government to visit Somalia.

Turkey’s engagement in Somalia has made visible changes to the country in many areas from health to infrastructure. Bilateral agreements have also been signed, including treaties to train the Somali national army, and Turkish Airlines has started flights to the capital of Mogadishu.

Turkey’s efforts have paid off, and the increasing relationship between the two states has brought attention to the region and many have started to question Turkey’s involvement in Somalia.

Turkey also provided Somalia with over $400 million in the biggest aid campaign to the country in its struggle to fight starvation.

Turkey is set to open its first military base in Africa at which Turkish military officers will train Somali soldiers and troops from other African countries to fight al-Shabaab, military sources said in January.

The base in the African Horn, which has been approved by the United Nations, will be Turkey’s second military base abroad and will be set up in capital Mogadishu.

With the agreement between the Turkish and Somali governments, over 1,500 Somali troops will be trained by 200 Turkish military officers.

Turkey has been providing military assistance to Somalia within the scope of military and financial cooperation deals between the two governments for over five years now.