Istanbul, 28 October 2023 (TDI): President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, received the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, in Istanbul, the Turkish Presidency said on Friday.

According to the statement by the Turkish Presidency, both leaders discussed bilateral relations and international developments at a closed-door meeting.

Moreover, they were accompanied by Turkish National Defense Minister Yaşar Guler, Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacir, and the Somali delegation.

The leaders discussed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the raging conflict between Israel and Hamas, given that Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, has seen widespread demonstrations in support of the people of Gaza, much like Turkey.

Turkey, Somalia Relations

Somalia enjoys a close diplomatic, economic, and military friendship with Turkey that has been fostered since Erdogan visited Somalia in 2011.

Since then, Turkey constructed its largest embassy in Africa, occupying 80,000 square meters, in Mogadishu.

Furthermore, Turkish humanitarian organizations are also operating in the country and helped avert a famine in 2022. Somalia has witnessed one of the worst droughts in four decades for the last two years.

Turkey’s largest overseas military base and training facility is located in Somalia. It holds about 1,500 trainees at a time and has trained more than 5,000 security forces in Somalia.

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In addition to that, ties with Somalia are also growing as part of Ankara’s strategy to enhance contact and cooperation with the African continent in every field.

Over the years, Turkey has become increasingly involved with the African continent. Erdogan, who first served as prime minister nearly 20 years ago, has cultivated ties with Africa by portraying Turkey as a more equitable player than the colonial powers on the continent in the past.

Ankara has stressed that it wants to develop diplomatic ties with the continent by partnering equally and creating a win-win situation while upholding respect for one another. To further develop and strengthen their relationship, both parties have vowed to use their greater potential.