Protesters in their thousands poured into the streets of Somalia’s capital city, Mogadishu waving Turkish flags to demonstrate against the failed military coup in Turkey Saturday.
The demonstration, organized by the civil society members and several government officials including minister for religious affairs, Abdulkadir Sheikh Ali Baqdadi and the city’s mayor Yussuf Hussein Jim’aale chanted in praise of Erdogan and condemned the coup plot.
The demonstrators waved Turkish flags and placards as they rallied at the city’s square, Daljirka Dahson in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Speaking during the demonstration, Mogadishu mayor Jima’le said that Turkey is among has played a critical role in helping Somalia up on its feet and must therefore not be allowed to fall into any conflict or chaos.
“Turkish government supported Somali people during 2011 drought that hit Somalia. It is a Muslim country which we (Somalis) do not want it to plunge into chaos,” said Jima’ale.
He added “The coup does nothing but violate democracy and civilian rule.”
The solidarity with which Somalis both locally and internationally showed for Turkey’s president and call for stability is indicative of the cordial and productive bilateral relations the two countries share. Turkey has been instrumental in rebuilding Somalia with notable projects being the construction of an ultra modern airport terminal and the state of the art hospital in the city.
Turkey’s development initiatives in Somalia also include re-carpeting of roads in Mogadishu and street lighting.
Turkey also provided Somalia with over $400 million in the biggest aid campaign to the country in its struggle to fight starvation.
Meanwhile Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan has declared the coup failed and that his government was now fully in charge of the situation. Erdogan returned to the capital Ankara after few hours in the country’s economic hub, Istanbul.
At least 754 members of the armed forces have been arrested, among them 29 colonels and five generals. About 60 people are reported to have been killed.