Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdoğan Friday officially opened his country’s embassy premises in Mogadishu, the largest such diplomatic facility in Africa.
Speaking during the brief function in the heavily fortified seafront building block, Erdoğan said the opening of the facility reiterated Turkey’s support for reconstruction and peace building.
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.
The opening of the embassy follows President Erdoğan’s commissioning of the teaching and referral hospital and the Aden Adde Airport new terminal last year.
Turkey’s engagement also includes re-carpeting of roads in Mogadishu and street lighting. Turkey’s efforts have paid off, and the increasing relationship between the two states has brought attention to the region.
Turkey also provided Somalia with over $400 million in the biggest aid campaign to the country in its struggle to fight starvation.
Turkish officials indicated January it was going to build police and military training academies to help in the training and capacity support for Somali security forces.
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.
The new embassy located in Abdi Aziz district in Mogadishu covers an estimated 10,000 square meters.