Today like decade ago, on 19th August 2011, Somali hosted a historic and landmark visit made by His Excellency president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was at that time the prime minister of brotherly country Turkey.
It was first time, that international head of state has visited in horn of Africa Nation, for almost two decades, his visit has come amid the country deepen into devastating famine, children are dying due to malnutrition, and Turkish was first country who made responded that severe drought which claimed more than 200,000 lives.
Erdogan’s historic in Somalia, was U-turn period for Somalia and attracted by the world eyes on the country, which experienced through years of chaotic and uncertainty, like long running armed conflicts and droughts in the southern part regions.
Turkish aid agencies have started to feed the in-needed Somalis who fled their harshly hit drought areas, the internal displaced people have gathered camps outside the capital Mogadishu, there was huge number of people coming from southern regions have frequently arriving to the city IDPs camps.
Turkish life-saving activities in Somalia
Soon after, the arrival of prime minister Erdogan in Somalia followed by large number of Turkish aid agencies like TIKA and Turkish Red Cross and other well-wishers’ people have flocked the horn of Africa nation, as people dying by scores every day almost everywhere due to dire famine, the charity organizations have opened food distribution centers across Mogadishu IDPs camps, where people arriving day after day, having with nothing.
Rajo and Badbado camps were two main IDPs in Mogadishu where hundreds of thousands of people who fled their homes due to hunger were lived, with no food to eat, no shelter, no medical care and even have no water, most of them were arriving by foot with their children for almost hundreds KM distance from Mogadishu.
Most those people were; women, children and elders, actually, they were vulnerable people who desperately in needed life-saving action, but with the help our Turkish brothers generously drought affected people soon recoveries from the catastrophic famine.
Turkish aid organizations-built tents for IDPs, opening health facilities in the camps and multiple feeding centers for malnutrition children were established almost everywhere, after that, the number of child death was decreased rapidly with the help of Allah.
Somali-Turkish diplomatic relation
The diplomatic ties between these nations were back to hundreds of years ago, in sixteenth century historians believe was first time both sides have made direct contact, at the era of Ottoman Empire was ruled of all Muslim world and east Africa including Somalis was one of them.
But in the modern time, when both countries became as like today, in the 1973 Somalia has opened its embassy in Turkey, it was first time that Mogadishu has diplomatic mission there while Turkey has opened its embassy in Mogadishu in 1979, from that time until today their diplomatic relation was stand.
On 19th August 2011, it was the time which completely renewed this diplomatic relation, a time when president Erdogan along with dozens of government officials and his family have landed in Mogadishu, at the time Somalia was look like isolated and forgotten country, people were dying with scores because of they don’t have food to survive, but all of that dramatically changed by the arrival of Erdogan, the world has followed the footsteps of Turkish leader.
In 2016, Ankara has unveiled in Mogadishu its biggest embassy in Africa, a beautiful landscape building with sided the Indian Ocean beach, it was a showcased and signal positive of diplomatic relation between Mogadishu and Ankara.
Somali back on track with the Turkish supports
Within short period of time the famine has averted, Turkish has begun new chapter which was development projects in Somalia specially the war-torn capital Mogadishu, Turkish built and renovated roads in the city like; hospitals, schools and rebuild Mogadishu airport and sea port with millions of dollars by the Turkish firms.
According to the statement from Turkish president H.E Recep Tayyip Erdogan which released on the 10th anniversary commemoration event in Mogadishu today, said there was more than one billion US dollar donated to the Somalia since 2011.
Since 2011, Thousands of Somali students were offered by the Turkish scholarships who have accessed to pursued to get free high education there, as to rebuild their country.
In 2012, Turkish airlines, has started regular flights to Somalia its first international airliner to do so for almost 20 years, this was connected Somalia to the rest of the world.
Turkish has made a lot of nation building programs; the economic infrastructure projects and security sector reforms, and they have built its biggest oversees military base in Mogadishu in 2017, which provides training hub for Somali army and police.
In almost four years period, Turkish has trained for Somalia more than three thousand military officers and non-commissioned officers, and they have equipped a new brand armed vehicles for Somali national army to fight Alqeada affiliated group Alshabab.
The country’s finance minister, Dr. Abdirahman Beileh, who was speaking today at the events which marks 10th Somali-Turkish renewed diplomatic relation held in Mogadishu said, the federal government more than 70% its revenue from Mogadishu airport and sea port both are running by the Turkish companies, this is how you can understand easily, what Turkey is mean worth this country.
During his remarks, Dr. Beileh, added that Turkish achievement not only for that, they have facilitated for Somalia to have an access the international banking system by sending and collecting money through Turkish banks.
After 10 years of Somali-Turkish revisited their diplomatic relation, the key questions are; how is going to be this relation in the next 10 years? is there any plan for that? Can we predict how is going to be look like?
By: Ali Abdirahman