Somalia always on the agenda
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu delivers a speech at an Istanbul event. AA photoMore than 300 representatives of civil society organizations working in Somalia gathered in Istanbul to discuss the country’s major problems on May 27. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu participated in the meeting and emphasized that resolving the conflict situation in Somalia is one of Turkey’s highest foreign policy priorities.
“Turkey does not see Somalia as an area to serve its own interests or as a security threat, but as a place where the human conscience will be tested,” Davutoğlu said. “Somalia is not a faraway place for us; it is the epicenter of honor and civilization.”
The foreign minister said Turkey has assumed great leadership in every initiative for Somalia since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the country in August 2011, adding that Turkey has opened an embassy in Somalia, and Turkish Airlines has begun offering flight services to Mogadishu.
“While the whole world was watching Somalia from the outside, Turkey sent its senior diplomats and its most effective civil society and aid organizations [there],” Davutoğlu said. Turkey has sent $365 million in cash and aid in kind to Somalia over the past year, according to the Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD).