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BUSINESS > Turkey offers boat for fish to Somalia

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

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Many Somali people do not eat fish but the commodity is one of the main items of exports in the country. AA photo

Many Somali people do not eat fish but the commodity is one of the main items of exports in the country. AA photo

Ümit Enginsoy Ümit Enginsoy uenginsoy@aol.com

Turkey’s trade efforts for defense equipment appear to be taking an unfamiliar turn: bartering with fish.

For a generation, Somalia has been a byword for the sufferings of a failed state. It has lurched from disaster to disaster over the last 20 years since the central government was toppled by clan militias that later turned on each other. Year after year, Somalia has been ranked as one of the world’s poorest, most violent countries, plagued by warring militias, bandits, warlords and pirates.

Now the fledgling Somali government wants to buy a coast guard boat from Turkey to boost it assets against the country’s pirates. But there is one problem: how to afford the more than $10 million, the cost of the coast guard patrol boat.

Turkey’s procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), has come up with an ingenious, payment system: payment with fish.

Somalia, situated on the coast of the Indian Ocean, catches some of the world’s most delicious fish.

Many Somali groups, however, abstain from eating fish. Under the SSM plan, the Somalis will be able to catch fish to raise the money needed for the coast guard ship.

“We have reached a full agreement for Somali fish for our coast guard ship. This is a win-win situation for everybody involved,” one procurement official told the Hürriyet Daily News.

Turkey produces many different kinds of coast guard ships to meet the needs of the Somali forces.

Since 2006, the country has faced an insurgency led by al-Shabaab, one of Africa’s most fearsome militant Islamist groups. Al-Shabaab controls parts of southern Somalia and has claimed affiliation with al-Qaeda since 2007.

Many kidnappings have been conducted by pirates, who operate with total impunity in many parts of Somalia.

“There are many African countries that are willing to do arms deals with Turkey, but do not have the money. We should be creative enough to find such payment methods,” the procurement official said.

However, Turkish foreign ministry sources said they were unaware of such a move adding that a defense industry deal with the civil unrest-hit nation required a U.N. Security Council approval.

June/11/2012

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

MR Somalia

6/11/2012 7:13:30 PM

US Observer, I apologize if I may have offended you but it's just the way it is man. Our brothers lack education and are fighting for the wrong courses no doubt but we Somalis never asked for US help and never will. You didnt come to help us, you were happy that socialist Siad Bare rule came to an end. It was your chance to play the "good cop" for the Somalis but they far too smart. Even now your still running to Mogadishu, no one asked you to come, Johnie Carson should get lost!

US Observer

6/11/2012 4:05:54 PM

Yes it's everyone else's fault your country is a disaster, right KC? Look at what your "brothers" do to one another there on a daily basis. You dare to say help from Muslims is better, yet if it were not for many non Islamic organizations providing aid, there would have been catastrophic consequences there. You are one of the countless individuals in this world who want everything and appreciate nothing. We lost good men in that hell whole trying to help and we had nothing to gain.

MR Somalia

6/11/2012 3:32:35 PM

Real G, We Somalis appreciate all help but a help from a Muslim brother out weights than others because their help doesn't come with preconditions or give-and-take terms. Our people have fond memories of the Ottomans and unlike many who complained about them, to us, they rescued us from Portugal and Christian Ethiopia. Today we enjoy almost 99% Muslim population. I will explain to you how this affected us forever to this day.

Chris Green

6/11/2012 1:48:27 PM

KC Somalia: You know where to come if you need your airport runway brought up to date! :-) (Linked in Network)

Real G

6/11/2012 9:50:06 AM

they are not reasonable in their demand for boat, is it a must that you post a topic like this Hurriyet? ..so people can no turkey is really helping somalia when turkish citizen need boat to fish to stopl starving .. Kc mrsomalia you dont need turkey help in somalia .......AU and ECOWAS are both helping somalia .

MR Somalia

6/11/2012 6:37:04 AM

I think its a fair business in my opinion. We will send $10m worth of tuna and fish and you send your best boat. Somalia is not only rich in marine life, it has abundance of resources including oil, gas, uranium, gold and of course location location and location. We are at the center of three vastly growing regions; Middle East, Africa and Asia. That's why foreigners want Somalia. Turkey must not relax because the West, Iran and others are ready to throw obstacles on its way.

MR Somalia

6/11/2012 6:17:45 AM

Somalia does have enough wealth to sustain the entire African continent but due to wars, brain-drain and years of chaos, everything is absent from the country. We went from a leading African nation to a zero, just overnight. We never really recovered because everyone, regional and international, all wanted to control Somalia. Somalia was a victim of the cold war. Fish is not popular in our diet because we are nomadic society. This is fishy business hehehe. Boat = fish?
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