Turkey aims to open more embassies in Africa, says Erdoğan

Turkey aims to open more embassies in Africa, says Erdoğan

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency

Turkey aims to increase the number of it embassies from 41 to 54 across the “important” Africa continent, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 6 at a joint press conference with Benin President Patrice Talon in Ankara. 

Africa has always been an important continent for us. We used to have 12 embassies there. Now, we have 41 diplomatic missions in Africa but aim to increase this figure to 54,” Erdoğan added.

Meanwhile, he warned Benin against the threat of FETÖ, which Ankara says orchestrated the failed 2016 coup attempt.

“FETÖ; this organization is a virus. It disguises and infiltrates any country and any place,” Erdoğan said, voicing hope “for the purging of FETÖ connections in Benin as soon as possible.”

“The U.S. allocates 400 acres of land to him [FETÖ’s U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen] and he manages his organization all over the world from that land,” Erdoğan said.

He added that the U.S. pays $800-850 million annually for this organization from the FETÖ-linked charter schools.

Erdoğan said he attached great importance to what and who are behind this organization. 

Relations with Benin

Describing the meeting with Talon as “fruitful,” Erdoğan said they discussed bilateral relations and steps to increase ties in the areas of economy, politics, culture and military.

About bilateral trade volume which stood at $115 million in 2017, Erdoğan said it was not at the desired level.

The president added that opening embassies in the countries accelerated bilateral relations.

The Turkish embassy in Cotonou opened in 2014, while the Beninese embassy in Ankara opened in 2013. Benin also has an honorary consulate in Istanbul.

For his part, Talon said Benin expects Turkey’s ongoing development to have an impact on Africa, adding: “Because Turkey has a substantial knowledge and specialty, Africa should benefit from it.”

Talon added Benin wants to host Turkish companies.