The relationship between our two brotherly nations, Somalia and Turkey has been growing tremendously for the last few years moving from strength to strength.
This relationship received a major boost following the meeting between our two leaders, Somalia’s H.E President Farmaajo, and Turkey’s H.E President Erdoğan held at Vahdettin Mansion in Istanbul, November 2018.
As a result, the rising bilateral ties has created room for increased cooperation in different sectors of mutual interest giving birth to major mutual gains for the two nations.
Somalia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Ambassador Jama Abdullahi Mohamed accompanied H.E President Farmaajo for the Visit.
Their talks revolved around intensifying our strong bilateral relations owing to Turkey’s position as a valuable partner in the ongoing development in various sectors of the country.
The meeting came a few months after H.E President Farmaajo delivered his congratulatory message to President Erdoğan in Person following his victory during the June 24 Presidential elections which gave way for Turkey’s transition to the new Presidential System of Government. President Farmaajo also joined other heads of state and government for the inauguration of President Erdoğan at the Presidential Complex in Ankara.
H.E President Farmaajo also made his first official state visit to Turkey in April 2017 where he was received in an official ceremony at the Presidential Complex, by his counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The national anthems of the two great brotherly nations were played and a 21-gun-salute was fired.
The commitment from the two Heads of State remains a true inspiration to the citizens and the governments of the brotherly nations.
The governments of Somalia and Turkey have expressed commitment to further their cooperation in the security sector to protect the citizens of the two countries.
The two nations, led by the ministers and other senior officials in the security dockets, agreed to boost their collaboration in crucial departments in the security ministry and related government agencies.
Somalia’s delegation led by the Minister for Internal Security Hon. Mohamed Abukar Islow, met with his Turkish counterpart Minister Suleyman Soylu at the headquarters of the Ministry of interior in the capital, Ankara.
The two leaders were accompanied by representatives of various departments including chargé d’affaires Mr. Suleiman Mohamed Karshe who was representing the Somali Ambassador to Turkey, Ambassador Jama Abdullahi Mohamed.
The talks were preceded by a closed door meeting between the two ministers.
Minister Mohamed Abukar Islow who was on a working visit as part of his continued efforts to increase cooperation in strengthening the security ministry, started by sharing the gratitude of the Somali people to the Turkish government, led by His Excellency, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“We remain thankful to the Turkish people under the leadership of President Erdogan for their limitless support and generosity to our citizens. The Turkish people are written on a golden leaf and inscribed in golden letters too”. He finished.
His sentiments were echoed by his Turkish counterpart, Minister Soylu, who praised the strong bilateral ties between the two nations and its rising nature.
‘’The relationship under the leadership of H.E President Erdogan has opened a new window and a new horizon for the Somali-Turkish relations. Our relationship is inscribed in history using golden letters”. Said Minister Soylu.
Somalia and Turkey both termed the success in their economic cooperation as one of the fruits of their continued collaboration which now encourages their partnership in various other sectors such as security.
Minister Islow continued by highlighting the ongoing reforms in the ministry which has seen a remarkable progress in combating terror attacks aimed at the public.
“We have instilled wide reforms in the security sector through stringent employment measures and modernized operations. We have also uplifted the capacities of our personnel to boost security mechanisms and reduce frequent attacks through robust security measures”. He said.
The security sector has recovered prominently in the last 24 months following more than two decades of instability which crippled the sector.“The Capital, Mogadishu has been a great beneficiary of the reforms witnessed in the interior ministry following a decrease in the number of attacks. We have taken many steps and we are still enhancing our security because the security of our people is our utmost priority.” Said Minister Islow.
The Turkish government, which acknowledged the achievements undertaken by the interior ministry, committed to support strategic measures by increasing personnel capacity and other priority areas.
Already, more than 100 officers and senior officials have graduated from security trainings offered in Turkey to enhance the services of the department.
The two governments were in consensus that border patrol and immigration were critical for the internal security and have both agreed to cooperate in those areas.
As a result, the days of forged migration documents by scrupulous dealers within and outside Somalia could be numbered since the department of immigration is expected to start operationalizing to block the porous means of creating fake passports and other travel documents.
The leaders have assured their citizens it would be a thing of the past once the agreed measures are put into place and extended to curb transnational crimes such as human and drug trafficking, terrorism and illegal migration.
Furthermore, the Turkish government has pledged to provide capacity building and equipment to Somali government to counter the IED and Vehicle Improvised explosive devices, VBIED.
Minister Soylu congratulated Somalia for the transformation in different sectors including maintaining security at times of heightened tensions from local and foreign partners.
He applauded the recent horn collaboration between Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea terming it a key ingredient for the success of the involved nations.
Just like Somalia, Turkey has been targeted by various terror organizations such as PKK, PYD, YPG and the working partnership is expected to be of huge benefit to both nations with given priority to the safety of its citizens.
The IED and VBIED menace could end soon following the Turkish government’s pledge to provide detection and detonation equipment.
“We would like to emulate your efforts and increase the capacity of our security personnel through knowledge and experience sharing.” Added Minister Islow.
The Minister later extended his gratitude to the Turkish department of immigration for creating a conducive environment for Somali citizens from the diaspora to study and live in Turkey.
The Minister and his delegation were later received for a working meeting with the heads of the Police and the Intelligence departments.
The brotherly government of Turkey reiterated its commitment to continue providing support to Somalia in given areas as a sign of the strong bond between the nations.
To date, Turkish humanitarian and development organizations led by aid agency, TIKA, continue to partner with various agencies in Somalia to boost ongoing efforts to enhance the capacities of various institutions.
The two nations have been experiencing visits by senior officials from their governments with the most recent being the visit by Defence Minsiter Mr. Hulusi Akar.
The minister was accompanied by Director General, Interior Ministry of Somalia, Mr. Yussuf Ali Mohamed, Director for Immigration and naturalization Mr. Mohamed Aden Jimale and Senior Adviser Ahmed Abdi ( Koshin)
Minister Islow has extended invitation to his counterpart to visit Mogadishu to witness the progress made through their continued cooperation in security matters.
Minister of Foundations and Religious affairs of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Sheikh Nur Mohammed Hasan held a meeting with the President of Turkey’s religious Affairs, (Diyanet) Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş to emphasize the importance of their cooperation on religious matters.
The leaders who represented two nations whose relationship was strengthened by their common Islamic beliefs discussed ways to work together for the good of their societies.
Diyanet President Erbaş on his part also stressed the importance of the two countries ‘ religious education, cultural and cooperation.
“We have and we shall maintain to demonstrate our efforts to educate and to achieve greater results for our brothers in many respects,” said Chairman Erbaş.
The leaders committed to partner and strengthen the capacities of religious institutions to fight exploitation of religion to destabilize the societies.
“We look forward to share ideas and to benefit from the experiences of religious education in the presidency of the Department of Religion”. Added Minister Sheikh Nur.
Minister of Foundations and Religious affairs of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Sheikh Nur Mohammed Hasan with the President of Turkey’s religious Affairs, (Diyanet) Prof. Dr. Ali ErbaşMinister Sheikh Nur, who had paid visit to the Diyanet headquarters in Ankara for the talks, expressed his satisfaction with the meeting and thanked President Erbaş for hosting him.
The minister also submitted his appreciations for the Turkish people on their cooperation with Somalia including trade investment and other humanitarian support which also brought smiles to many during important Muslim holidays.
“We thank the Turkish people and especially President Erdogan who always stood with us. I wish the relations between our two countries will develop further.”He said.
The department of culture, Heritage and Education in Somali Embassy, Ankara, seeks to sustain and enhance the warm relationship between Somalia and Turkey.
In addition, the department aims to advance the Somali culture, strengthen cultural relations and cooperation while also focusing on establishing a longstanding partnership in Education with the Republic of Turkey.
Somalia is widely recognized as a nation that has a unique and rich culture that blends both nomadic and modern culture.
Since its inception in 1979, the department has managed to promote and create awareness about the best of Somali arts, literature and Culture to deepen interactions with the Citizens of the republic of Turkey.
This has been complemented through various platforms for integration and exhibitions.
The Department has displayed with affection and creativity, the Somali culture, history, the lifestyle, clothing, food and household items.
Motivated by the desire to preserve and promote the Somali culture to and for both the Somali diaspora in Turkey and the Turkish Citizens, the department has coordinated social events and showcased this at different cultural events it has participated in across Turkey.
The emergence of Turkey as an educational destination of Choice for Somali citizens from Somalia and abroad has seen an increase in number of students admitted to Turkish institutions of that offer various levels of education.
The vision to create a conducive environment for Somali Students spread across Turkey, has seen the Department not only enhance educational cooperation with the Government of Turkey but also provide guidance to the students so as to enable them study at ease and to ensure their needs are met.
The department provides information and career advice to students, ensures they make appropriate choices when selecting academic institutions and coordinates events aimed at building Somali student networks.
Currently, the department has an existing working partnership with cultural institutions, societies, research centers and Community organizations.
This main goal is to promote investment in Somalia through cultural projections and public diplomacy.
Somalia and Turkey have once again reiterated their commitment to work towards enhancing cooperation on military and national security to boost citizen protection and defense.
This followed talks between Somalia’s chief of Defense Forces Maj. General Dahir Adan Elmi and his Turkish counterpart, Turkey’s chief of Defense forces General Yaşar Güler.
The two Generals met at the Defense headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, approximately a year since the opening of Turkey’s large military training camp in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Bilateral military relations between Somalia and Turkey has been growing from strength to strength in the last few years following close working ties that has seen hundreds of Somali officers graduate from Turkish military colleges.
Other high ranking Somali military officers have also received advanced courses to boost efforts to tackle threats posed by terror groups.
During the meeting, Maj. General Dahir Adan commended Turkey for providing capacity building support to Somalia’s defense forces.
He termed the trainings significant and timely towards increasing personnel capacities and operations.
On his part, Major Güler assured Somalia of unending military support and cooperation due to the brotherly nature of the relationship between the two nations.
He also acknowledged Somali government’s efforts and promised joint cooperation to enhance the capacity of its forces.
The two nations further agreed to foster relations and partner in information sharing in order to increase counterterrorism measures to curb threats.
The meeting was attended by Senior Somali and Turkish Defense personnel.
Somalia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Ambassador Jama Abdullahi Mohamed also attended the meeting.
The Military cooperation between the two states can be traced to the 16th Century and has only been getting stronger since then.
Maj. General Dahir Adan who is Turkey for an official working visit, later met Defense Minister Gen. Hulusi Akar where they held brief talks.
Turkey and Somalia held significant talks to create an enabling environment for Somali students admitted in various institutions of higher learning in Turkey.
The Minister for Education, Culture & Higher Education Abdullahi Godah Barre met the President of Higher Education Council famously known as YOK, Prof. Dr. M. A. Yekta Saraç in Ankara.
He was accompanied by Ambassador Jama Abdullahi Mohamed and Somali Embassy Culture and Education attaché Abdulaziz Abdirahman.
The talks revolved around the state of new and continuing University students which included provision of support to students whose studies were interrupted following the failed coup experienced in the country on 15th July 2016.
Following the talks, the higher education board (YOK) and the YTB who are in charge of Turkish Scholarship have committed to provide a resolution soon to ease the burden from the students.
Somalia’s education ministry has promised to compile a list of recognized universities in the country since some undergraduate students have been unable to proceed with their studies in Turkish Universities due to what was referred to as lack of recognition of those universities by the higher education board.
This matter has also affected a section of Somali students whose admission status remains unclear over the state of their academic credentials.
According to the board, the Somali National University along five other private universities in Somalia are recognized in Turkey. This could change once the Ministry of Education finalizes the complete list of credible institutions.
There could be light at the end of the tunnel since an urgent solution is being worked by the higher education board. A directive is expected from the board to allow for the admission of the students.
The delegation thanked the government of Turkey for the cooperation in academic sector which has contributed to the increase of Somali students who have graduated from Turkey.
This meeting followed a previous one held between Ambassador Jama Abdullahi and Turkey’s Minister for National Education Ziya Selçuk several weeks ago.
Eduation remains a critical part of Somalia and the creation of conducive environment remains a priority for the Embassy.
Somalia and Turkey’s trade relations have received a boost following a lengthy ministerial meeting between Somalia’s Minister for Commerce and Industry Mohamed Abdi Hayir Maareeye and his Turkish counterpart, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan.
The leaders, who held talks on the sidelines of the second Turkey Africa Economic and business forum in Istanbul agreed to speed up finalization of the bilateral free trade agreement in order to increase investment between the two brotherly nations.
“As you have witnessed, Somalia is a unique land for investment and we have readily available opportunities in various sectors. Turkish companies are more than just business partners: they are our brothers. We have provided a conducive business environment and we are ready to strengthen our trade”, said Minister Maareeye.Minister Maareeye, who led a delegation of dozens of Somali investors also added that there was a need to address existing minor hindrances that were affecting imports from Turkey by Somali business people.
He added that there has been an increase in Somali investors who were operating in various sectors in Turkey.
On her part, Minister Ruhsar praised the existing bilateral ties and assured the minister that Somalia remained a key ally in various areas and trade remained a priority.
She committed to fast track and facilitate government support to enable investors from both nations operate smoothly.
“We understand there is interest from our part on lemon and banana importation from Somalia, but this will be fulfilled once the ground is formally set,” she said.
Minister Maareeye reiterated the need for a joint Somali-Turkish trade exhibition to increase investment opportunities.
The minister also invited Turkish investors to the renewable energy sectors terming it a solution against environmental destruction while equally enabling Somalia to tap into its energy resources to save costs.
Puntland Region’s Trade Minister Abdiweli Hersi also attended the meeting where the area’s investment potential in fishing was also discussed.
Somalia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Ambassador Jama Mohamed Abdullahi who was part of the Somali delegation, maintained that there were positive talks with Turkish investors. He also highlighted that there were ongoing efforts to enhance networking between Somali and Turkish investors.
The meeting came after the officially opening of the Turkey-Africa Economic and business forum by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
President Erdogan mentioned Somalia in his Speech where he expressed his nation’s dedication to strengthen trade ties with several African nations.
“We have established our largest foreign mission in Somalia and we are planning to open our embassies in almost every country in Africa before the end of my current term,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the continent, and representing AU Chairperson Mehmet Faki, Africa Union’s Department of Economic Affairs Commissioner Prof. Victor Harison praised the relationship between Turkey and Africa.
He however raised the need to refocus and strengthen the relationship for mutual, beneficial and sustainable partnership.
“Private sector is the cornerstone of trade and development. Embracing innovation, strengthening capacity and working hand in hand is critical for economic growth,” he finished.
The trade deals between Africa and Turkey have reached a record 20 billion US Dollars in 2017 which was a commendable rise in the last decade.
Somalia has been one of the key partners in Turkey’s investment in Africa.
The President of Foreign Economic relations board (DEIK) Nail Olpak promised more cooperation and investment in Africa.
“We will work together, and win together. Turkey and Africa are the future.” he said.
Ethiopia’s president Mulatu Teshome, Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente and representatives from nearly 50 countries are attending the second edition of the forum which was last held in November 2014.
It has been a moment of pride for Somalia as renown humanitarian Dr. Hawa Abdi was awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement award during the TRT World Citizen awards held in Istanbul, Turkey.
She was among winners from different categories who were rewarded for their efforts and support to humanity.
Dr. Hawa’s daughter Dr Deqo Mohamed, who is the Director General of the organization took to the stage to receive the coveted trophy on her mother’s behalf from the President of Turkey H.E Recep Erdoğan’s Daughter, Sümeyye Erdoğan, who is also the President of of the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM).
“It is a huge honour for me to present this award to someone from Somalia. Somalia and the beautiful people of Somalia have left a deep mark on my heart from the time I had the chance to visit there alongside the President”. Added Sümeyye.
On her part, Dr. Deqo thanked the people of Turkey and various Turkish organizations for their support to Somalia on various occassions.
According to TRT World Citizen, the aim of the award is to recognize the contribution of different individuals to humanity.
“I receive this award on behalf of my mother and the great women of Somalia and the world,”. She said.
“In 2011 when President Erdogan arrived in Somalia, that is the day the world started looking at Somalia differently”.
Dr Hawa Abdi’s foundation has been providing support to internally displaced people (IDP) in Somalia.
The Awards gala were held during the recently concluded TRT World Forum which brought together Politicians, scholars and media professionals under the theme Envisioning Peace and Security in a fragmented world.
Turkey and Somalia signed a pact to boost their strategic economic partnership.
“We wish to deepen relations with Somalia. Turkey’s investment in Somalia stands at over $100 million,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag told a signing ceremony alongside his Somali counterpart Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid.
“This figure forms a foundation to prompt bigger cooperation in the days to come.”
He predicted that the bilateral trade volume would rise to $200 million from about $120 million in 2016.
He spoke at the opening of a Turkey-Somalia Joint Economic Commission meeting in the capital Ankara co-chaired by himself and Gulaid.
Akdag added that both countries should carry through 2016 memorandums of understanding in such areas as energy, mines, electricity, higher education, agriculture, and maritime affairs.
He added an expected free trade agreement between the two countries would boost trade ties.
Gulaid, for his part, said the meeting would maintain bilateral economic ties and bolster strategic cooperation in the years to come.
The countries also inked a memorandum of understanding on fishing and fisheries, signed by Turkey’s Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmet Esref Fakibaba and Somali’s Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Abdirahman Mohamed Abdi Hashi.
“Now we have started work on the development of Somalia as well as [it] becoming a major economic power with the support of Turkey,” Hashi said following the signing ceremony, adding that the pact would be the beginning of numerous future cooperation deals between the two countries.
Under the deal, Turkish fishermen will be able to fish in Somalia’s territorial waters.
Turkey and Somalia have long enjoyed friendly relations, as Turkey has invested in many areas to help modernize Mogadishu, the capital of the Horn of Africa country.
Last September, Turkey opened its largest military training academy abroad in Somalia.
Located south of Mogadishu, the training facility took some two years to build.
The facility spans over 4 square kilometers (1.54 square miles) and can train more than 1,500 troops at a time, according to the Somali government.