SOMALIA CONFERENCE > ‘Istanbul’ a common name for Somali girls

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Many Somali’s give their daughters the name Istanbul, a youth organization says. Courtesy of Turkish Red Crescent

Many Somali’s give their daughters the name Istanbul, a youth organization says. Courtesy of Turkish Red Crescent

Istanbul is now one of the most common names given to Somali girls, the executive director and founder of Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals (WSSP) said in a written statement sent to Hürriyet Daily News.

Praising Turkey’s aid efforts in Somalia, Kasim Mohamed Ali said Somalis show their generosity and friendship to Turkey by naming their girls ‘Istanbul.’ “Few people know, but Istanbul is now among the most common names given to Somali girls. All of this reflects a deep sense that the relationship between our two countries is one of mutual respect and mutual support,” he said in the statement.

“We are grateful for the assistance of the Turkish government and Turkish people in our time of need and we are proud to say that Turkey is Somalia’s truest friend. When I recently met Dr. Kani Torun, the Turkish Ambassador to Somalia, he welcomed the work we are doing in Somalia and we look forward to working with him in Mogadishu,” he said.

The WSSP is a non-profit organization with charitable status with headquarters in London and branches across Europe in Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, along with branches in Ohio, Texas, Washington and Minnesota in the United States, in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar in Asia, and in Somalia, Egypt, and South Africa in Africa.

The organization reaches a combined total of well over 50,000 individuals and has ambassadors in every major continent of the world, according to Mohamed Ali. “We are the only global Somali youth organization that represents the interests of Somali students and professionals around the world,” the executive director defines the organization.

The organization was among the first non-profit organizations to respond when Somalia was hit in August 2011 by the worst drought the country had seen in 65 years.

They also conduct projects in the fields of agriculture, healthcare and education.


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MR Somalia

6/7/2012 1:41:37 PM

Osman, brother Arabic will always be our second language. Its the language of the Quran and is also part of us. Somalis are Arab and Ethiopian mixed and this began 800 years ago.

osman haibe

6/6/2012 11:08:42 PM

turkish language should be second language in somalia instead of arabic.every somali boy who born after the prime mininster visited somalia should be his name rajab dayib ardogan in one name he is the one who break the seige embargo that was on somalia last 21 years. only allah can give back what turkiya and its good people did for somalia since the firs arrival of the ottoman in 14 centary somalia was the african ottomans inthe world stage we have respected as the only muslim warriors of africa

osman haibe

6/6/2012 10:59:44 PM

mr osman haibe; i cant tell on one page what turkiya did for somalia allah only can give back what turkiya did for somalia when somalia was attacked by seven europian countries in 15th centary and now when somalia is in seige of economic political and social the most deficult time ever in the modern somalia state one the indian ocean the other side two enemy countries supported by all western countries while somalia dont get one support from any of these western powrers but put siege ,viva turk

MR Somalia

6/3/2012 3:05:11 PM

The Ottomans never harmed the Somali people, they built infrastructure, mosques and promoted social cohesion. When the Ottoman fell, enemies preyed on Somalia and to this day they are trying to control us. Ottoman-Somali cooperation against the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean reached a high point in the 1580s. We honor these memories and victories. We are happy that the grandsons of Osmans have reawakened. It's not just the aid. We have deeper ties.

MR Somalia

6/3/2012 1:50:10 PM

Most people might think, Somalis are only grateful to Turkey for the recent engagement, actually it goes beyond that. This is a friendship that traces back to beyond 1400s and when the Ottoman empire declined, we never had a closing chapter. We never said goodbye, it all happened fast. Those of you who didn't know, Turkey (Ottoman Empire) actually had huge presence in Somalia and some of your grandfathers are buried here. Turkey rescued us then against arch enemy Ethiopia which we conquered.

MR Somalia

6/3/2012 11:53:13 AM

Its not a common name but if it is, I guess Turkish policy towards Somalia is working. Generations of Istanbulans in Africa. We love Turkey. We were worried for you before Erdogan because you sold a lot to seek EU membership but Erdogan has shown you that you dont need them but they need you. Erdogan is a hero in Somalia not only what he did here but also what he has done for Turkiye. If Turkiye is down, Somalia is down. The come back of Turkiye (Ottoman) means Somalia has hope.
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