Turkey, Chad vow to ‘stand together’ against terrorism
N’DJAMENA, Chad – Anadolu Agency
Turkey and Chad will stand together to fight terrorism, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Dec. 26 during a visit to the Central African nation.
Erdoğan’s remarks came at a joint news conference in the capital N’Djamena following a closed-door meeting with his Chadian counterpart Idriss Deby.
Erdoğan said a Turkish state-run education foundation had taken over schools in Chad that once belonged to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to be behind last year’s defeated coup in Turkey.
The Maarif Foundation has recently assumed control of numerous schools previously run by FETÖ around the world, including in 32 countries in Africa, according to Turkey’s Education Ministry.
“We will always stand together with Chad in its fight against terrorism,” Erdoğan said.
He also thanked Deby for declaring FETÖ a terrorist organization.
“All FETÖ-linked schools in Chad were transferred to the Maarif Foundation. Hopefully the Maarif Foundation will provide its best service in the education sector here together with Chad’s Education Ministry,” Erdoğan added.
Erdoğan said Chad is a very important country for Turkey.
“Around 50 projects in Chad have been finished by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency [TİKA],” he said.
Erdoğan said TİKA, Turkey’s state development aid agency, would start building a 230,000-square-meter Turkish Culture Complex in a central location in N’Djamena.
Turkey’s vital role in the Muslim world
Deby, for his part, said Chad’s children will “no longer be educated by terrorists,” referring to schools previously run by FETÖ.
“Our schools are not in the hands of terrorists anymore, but in trustworthy hands, and our children will continue to receive education in good conditions,” Deby said.
He said they agreed with Erdoğan to cooperate in fighting terrorism. Deby added that Erdoğan had recovered from last year’s defeated coup attempt.
“We will continue our work to prevent the abuse of Islam,” Deby stressed.
Deby said Erdoğan’s visit, the first-ever by a Turkish president in Chad, is important and that the pacts signed during his visit will boost friendly relations between the two countries.
Turkey is a large country with a long history and is well known around the world, Deby said.
“Turkey has been playing a very vital role in the Muslim world and around the world. Turkey is a bridge between the Arab world and the West,” he said.
Erdoğan’s visit makes us look back at history, to the old times between the two countries, Derby said.
The Chadian president said there are many opportunities between the two countries such as in agriculture, livestock, and technology.
Deby said he also spoke with Erdoğan on issues related to Jerusalem and stability in countries such as Libya.
Erdoğan’s visit to Chad is the second stop of a three-nation African tour, starting with Sudan and ending in Tunisia.
Chad’s opportunities for Turkish investors
Chad presents opportunities for Turkish investors in areas like construction, agriculture, food processing and storage, animal products processing, textiles, machinery and energy, according to Turkey’s Economy Ministry.
Chad is also rich in gold, uranium and oil.
Turkey’s imports from Chad in the first 10 months of 2017 totaled $26.9 million, while exports stood at $14.9 million, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.