The Turkish embassy in Somalia today hosted a colorful ceremony in commemoration of Turkey’s 93 years anniversary since its founding by the country’s father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud led the country alongside other senior government officials in joining the Turkish diplomatic mission in Mogadishu headed by Ambassador Olgan Bekar to mark the anniversary.
Bekar said the sacrifices made by the Turkish people and its military to liberate the country from the manacles of colonialism have made Turkey a great nation which has sought to bolster mutual relations across the world including Somalia.
Bekar said Somalia had made significant progress and that his country will continue its support for further progress.
“We acknowledge the progress achieved in Somalia in the recent years. Turkey is confident Somalia will continue to make great achievement on stabilization process,” said Bekar.
On elections, the Turkish envoy called inclusion of all Somalis noting the process was a turning point for the country.
“2016 will be a real threshold moment for in state building and peace building process in Somalia. We call all stakeholders to seize the momentum and activity engaged with the view to achieve an inclusive, fair and credible election process,” the envoy added.
Bekar announced his country will bolster the electoral process with a $4 million donation to ensure security and transparency of the process.
“We attach great importance to the security of the election and to ensure the necessary funds for election budget. In this regard I would like to announce Turkey will provide $4 million budgetary support to the federal government next week,” noted Bekar.
President Mohamud wished the government and the people of Turkey good will in marking this day. President Mohamud also thanked Turkey for the unwavering support which the president said had gone a long way in transforming Somalia.
We would comment like the efforts Turkish government has make. Thank you very much for the remarkable role that you have played in the recovery of Somalia, the President said.
“93 years is a long time for the history of human being. A democracy that was built for 93 years is not easy to shake. And that was proven in July 15 that Turkey is much bigger and stronger than a state that can be easily shaken by a small group of individuals,” President Mohamud added.
Meanwhile Somalia’s foreign affairs ministry has congratulated the government and people of Turkey on marking the anniversary.
In a statement to newsrooms, the ministry said Turkey’s achievements since independence were an inspiration to Somalia. “Turkey’s political and socio-economic achievements since the founding of the Republic on 29th October 1923 are a journey of great success and inspiration to the Somali Government and People. Indeed, all Somalis consider Turkey a valuable partner, supporter and ally in their nation’s development journey,” the statement read in part.
Somalia praised Turkey’s impressive role in not only inspiring a success story locally but also internationally through such initiatives as dealing with the global refugee crisis.
In Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the day marked an occasion when the Turkish nation crowned its war of independence with unprecedented bravery to challenge captivity and sanctions and invaders.
“We founded the Republic of Turkey on the principle that sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the nation and with the purpose of elevating our country to the level of developed civilizations,” President Erdoğan said.
Turkey has played a critical role in Somalia’s reconstruction in the last five years with investment running into $100 million. Notable in its aid model which has been hailed as a sustainable aid approach include the construction of ultra-modern referral and training hospital, mother and child hospital and construction of new airport terminal in Mogadishu among a host of other projects.