By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – A high level Turkish delegation is expected in the country in the early morning.
unconfirmed reports indicate that the delegation from Ankara which is led by the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag is expected to land around 8 am at Berbera international airport where it will be met by a government delegation headed by Vice president Hon Abdirahman Sayli.
The Turks who are on a whirlwind tour of the Horn of Africa arrived in Mogadishu on Tuesday where deputy premiere laid a foundation stone for a new Airport Surveillance Radar at Mogadishu’s international airport to be funded by Turkey, as part of Turkish development projects in Somalia following a pledge made by Prime Minister Recep Erdogan in Mogadishu last year.
The Turkish delegation that includes officials of the Ankara governments foreign aid arm TIKA held various meetings with TFG officials including Prime Minister Abdiweli and President Sharif Ahmed at the presidency. After having a closed-door meeting inside the presidential palace, president Sharif and the visiting Turkish Deputy Prime Minister held joint press conference stating that they discussed range of issues including speeding up of Turkish development projects in the country.
This will be the first time for the deputy premier minister to visit his next destination of Somaliland where he is expected to jump start several projects funded by his government in Somaliland. No details have been availed on his intinerary or duration of stay in which he is expected to hold various meetings beginning at the presidency with H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo.
Though this is the first time for deputy premiere Bekir Bozdağ, who is in charge of coordinating Turkish aid to famine-struck Somalia to visit Somaliland he has visited the region before having been in Mogadishu in March this year, to launch the first flight to Somalia by the Turkish airlines as well as to oversee the opening ceremonies for a fountain set up by Turkish Aid and Development Agency (TİKA), the Şifa Hospital built by Yeryüzü Doktorları Derneği (Association of the World’s Doctors), a public bazaar built by Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There) and a government service building and fountain constructed by the İstanbul Greater Municipality.
Premiere Bekir Bozdağ seems to have been delegate the Somali docket by his boss Recep Erdogan who is credited with breaking the isolation of Somalia after travelling to Mogadishu with his wife and daughter at the height of life taking drought there. Bekir Bozdag was the one in charge of the Istanbul II conference on Somalia held recently.