Relations between Turkey and Sierra Leone

Turkish-Sierra Leonean relations were established in 1971. Turkish Embassy in Freetown commenced its operations as of 1 February 2018. The Embassy of Sierra Leone in Abu Dhabi is accredited to Turkey. Sierra Leone is expected to open a resident Embassy in Ankara in the coming period. Sierra Leone has an Honorary Consulate in Ankara.

Progress has been recorded in bilateral relations between Turkey and Sierra Leone over the past few years. High-level officials from Sierra Leone had bilateral meetings with their Turkish counterparts during their visits on the occasion of international meetings.

In this framework, former Vice-Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmuş met with former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Sierra Leone, Samura Kamara in the margins of OIC Extraordinary Summit on Palestine in Jakarta in March, 2016.

Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with his Sierra Leonean counterpart who visited Turkey to participate in 13th Islamic Summit Conference of OIC held in April, 2016.

Sierra Leone was represented at World Humanitarian Summit held in May, 2016 in Istanbul with a delegation by former State Minister, Isata B. Kabia.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Kamara also participated in UN LDC Comprehensive High-level Midterm Review held in Antalya in May, 2016.

Furthermore, Ernest Bai Koroma, former President of Sierra Leone visited Turkey for the COMCEC (Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation) Summit held in November 2009; former Vice-President Samuel Sam Sumana visited for the 1st Africa-Turkey Partnership Summit (August, 2008); former Foreign Minister Josheph Dauda visited Turkey on the occasion of the 4th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (May, 2011) and Africa-Turkey Partnership Ministerial Review Conference (December, 2011).

Turkey has been member to UN Peacebuilding Commission Sierra Leone Configuration since April, 2012.

Ernest Bai Koroma, former President of Sierra Leone paid an official visit to Turkey between 9-11 May 2017. Former President Koroma was accompanied by Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Energy, Finance, Mineral Resources, Education, Youth and Sports, Information and Communication.

Sierra Leonean Minister of Transport and Aviation visited Turkey between 30 October and 4 November 2017.

In 2017 the bilateral trade volume between two countries was 51.5 million USD. Primary goods exported from Turkey are flour, sugar, iron and steel products, cement, various food products, cable, plastic wrap. Turkish imports mainly consist of hulk and leather products.

University scholarships for bachelor’s and post-graduate degrees are granted each year by the Turkish Government to the Government of Sierra Leone. Turkey allocated scholarship to 5 Sierra Leonean students for 2017-18 term. Also, a training program for 5 Sierra Leonean young diplomats was held by the Diplomacy Academy of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2011. Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs also allocated scholarship for 5 Sierra Leonean students.

Through Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Turkey is providing development assistance to Sierra Leone in various domains. For further detail, please visit http://www.tika.gov.tr/en.

Following the mudslide disaster in Freetown on 14 August 2017, Turkish Red Crescent has dispatched 11 tons of aid such as food and cleaning materials.