No: 49, 16 February 2014, Press Release Regarding Turkey’s Aid to Somalia

It has been observed that motivated reports have recently been published in some media outlets which could lead to misinterpretations regarding our country's aid to Somalia. In this regard, it has been deemed useful to share the following information with our public.

A monthly cash budgetary support was provided to Somalia during June-December 2013 upon the request of its President, in order to contribute to the urgent budget needs of the Federal Government of Somalia. The above mentioned cash budgetary support was transported to Mogadishu by courier owing to the lack of banking services in Somalia and it was delivered to the Federal Government of Somalia by our Embassy in Mogadishu according to the relevant procedures. The necessary information regarding this support to Somalia was shared with the international community from the beginning. In fact, Turkish budget support was also included in budgetary information published by the Federal Government of Somalia.

Thanks to Turkey’s cash support it was possible for the Federal Government of Somalia to pay public servants their monthly salaries on a regular basis. As part of our comprehensive aid strategy for Somalia, we are working to maintain our budgetary support to the Federal Government of Somalia also in 2014.

As will be remembered, Prime Minister H.E.Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Mogadishu on August 19, 2011 has constituted a turning point in the history of Somalia. Following the call made to the Turkish population before the visit, an aid campaign for Somalia was initiated and donations close to 500 million Turkish Liras were collected. In the period following the Prime Minister’s visit, Turkish public sector and civil society organizations began to be engaged in cooperation to help Somalia stand back on its feet. In this context, numerous development projects in various areas such as health, education, humanitarian aid, municipal services and infrastructure, opening of water wells have been completed or are underway across Somalia. The 200-bed Digfer Hospital in Mogadishu, which was rebuilt, fully equipped and whose management has been undertaken for five years has become one of the leading hospitals in Africa. The hospital's official opening is planned for next April. Likewise, the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) launched several projects in all regions of Somalia in the areas of education, health, agriculture and water management. The Turkish Red Crescent runs the Mogadishu camp acclaimed by the international community in which about 20,000 internally displaced Somali people are given shelter, and also provides daily hot meals for 15,000 Somalis in orphanages and hospitals. The Turkish Ministry of Health provides free health services and medication to Somalis in Somalia. Our civil society organizations conduct development projects, notably in the areas of health and education. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, in cooperation with the Municipality of Mogadishu, continues to engage in services that change the face of the city. The repair, maintenance and paving of Mogadishu’s main arteries progress rapidly. In parallel to our activities in Somalia, mutual high-level and technical visits between Turkey and Somalia continue.

We note with regret efforts to trivialize through such malicious and motivated reports the activities that have earned the admiration of the people of Somalia and the international community and that have been carried out under security threat by Turkish public institutions and agencies as well as civil society organizations.

Turkey will keep standing by the Somali people and to act in Somalia with the support of its population, who has shown its brotherly feelings by refusing to remain silent in the face of the human tragedy that occurred in the summer of 2011.