Somalia–Turkey relations

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Somalia–Turkey relations
Map indicating locations of Somalia and Turkey



Somalia–Turkey relations are bilateral relations between Somalia and Turkey. The two nations are longstanding partners, engaging in close development cooperation. Somalia also has an embassy in Ankara, and Turkey maintains an embassy in Mogadishu.


Relations between the present-day territories of Somalia and Turkey date back to the Middle Ages and the ties between the Adal Sultanate and the Ottoman Empire. The two kingdoms were allies during the Abyssinian–Adal conflict.[1]

The new embassy of Turkey in Mogadishu.

In 1969, Somalia and Turkey were among the founding members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Turkey originally maintained an embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, until the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991. It subsequently discontinued operations due to security reasons.[2]

Over the ensuing interim period, the Turkish authorities continued relations with Somalia's newly established Transitional National Government and its successor the Transitional Federal Government through their non-resident diplomatic mission in Addis Ababa.[2]

Following a greatly improved security situation in Mogadishu in mid-2011, and a visit by then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish government re-opened its foreign embassy with the intention of more effectively assisting in the post-conflict development process.[3][4] It was among the first foreign administrations to resume formal diplomatic relations with Somalia after the civil war.[5]

The Federal Government of Somalia was later established on August 20, 2012,[6] representing the first permanent central government in the country since the start of the conflict.[6] The following month, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected as the new government's first President. The election was welcomed by the Turkish authorities, who re-affirmed Turkey's continued support for Somalia's government, its territorial integrity and sovereignty.[7]

Development cooperation[edit]

Development cooperation between Somalia and Turkey is multi-tiered, and includes military, social, economic and infrastructural partnerships.[5][8]

During the drought of 2011, Turkey contributed over $201 million to the humanitarian relief efforts in the impacted parts of Somalia.[9] In partnership with the Somali government, Turkish officials have also launched various development and infrastructure projects in Somalia. They have assisted in the building of several hospitals, and helped renovate and rehabilitate the Aden Adde International Airport and the National Assembly building, among other initiatives.[5]

Turkish Airlines became the first long-distance international commercial airline in two decades to resume flights to and from Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport.[5] In September 2013, the Turkish company Favori LLC also began operations at the airport. The firm announced plans to renovate the aviation building and construct a new one, as well as upgrade other modern service structures. A $10 million project, it will increase the airport's existing 15 aircraft capacity to 60.[10]

In May 2013, the 1st Turkish-Somali Business Forum was launched in Istanbul to highlight commercial opportunities in both Somalia and Turkey for Somali and Turkish businesses. Organized by the Somali Council in conjunction with Somali and Turkish government ministries, the event included roundtable discussions on potential commercial ventures in both countries as well as business-to-business meetings between Somali and Turkish firms.[11]


In May 2010, the Somali and Turkish governments signed a military training agreement, in keeping with the provisions outlined in the Djibouti Peace Process.[12] Enforcement of the pact officially began in November 2012. Outlining training, technical and scientific cooperation, the treaty includes joint-service exercises between both national militaries and exchanges of delegations and personnel. It also encompasses training by the Turkish Military Medical Academy and Mapping General Command, between the gendarmerie and coast guard, as well as in-field training and education at national military installations and institutions. Additionally, the agreement includes provisions for the mutual exchange of information vis-a-vis military history, publications and museology.[8]

In October 2013, Somalia's federal Cabinet endorsed an agreement with the Turkish firm Al-Bayrak to manage the Port of Mogadishu for a 20-year period. According to the Prime Minister's Office, the deal was secured by the Ministry of Ports and Public Works, and also assigns Al-Bayrak responsibility for rebuilding and modernizing the port.[13] In April 2014, the Somali Federal Parliament postponed finalization of the Seaport Management Deal pending the approval of a new foreign investment bill. The MPs also requested that the agreement be submitted to the legislature for deliberation and to ensure that the interests of the port's manual labourers are taken into account.[14][15]

In February 2014, Somali Army Chief of Staff Brigadier General Dahir Adan Elmi signed a followup military agreement in Mogadishu with a delegation from the Turkish Ministry of Defense. The pact stipulates that the government of Turkey will soon launch a training regimen in Somalia for a portion of the Somali National Army. Some SNA soldiers will also receive training in Turkey.[16]

National reconciliation[edit]

On April 13, 2013, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud resumed reconciliation talks between the central government in Mogadishu and the regional authorities in Hargeisa. Mediated by the government of Turkey in Ankara, the meeting ended with a signed agreement between Mohamud and Ahmed Mahamoud Silanyo, President of the northwestern Somaliland region, agreeing to allocate fairly to the Somaliland region its portion of the development aid earmarked for Somalia as a whole and to cooperate on security.[17][18]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

The Somali Federal Government maintains an embassy in Ankara. The diplomatic mission is led by Ambassador Mohamed Mursal Sheikh, with Abdukadir Mohamed Nur serving as First Secretary (Consular & Legal Affairs).[19]

Turkey's embassy in Mogadishu is headed by Ambassador Olgan Bekar, who was appointed to the position in June 2014.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Black, Jeremy (1996). Cambridge Illustrated Atlas, Warfare: Renaissance to Revolution, 1492-1792. Cambridge University Press. p. 9. ISBN 0521470331. 
  2. ^ a b "Embassy of the Somali Federal Republic in Ankara". Embassy of the Somali Federal Republic in Ankara. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "No: 248, 1 November 2011, Press Release Regarding the Re-opening of the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Turkey Takes On Redevelopment Efforts in Somalia". VOA. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d Why Turkish aid model is proving to be a success in Somalia and elsewhere, Rasna Warah, Saturday Nation, 1 April 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Somalia: UN Envoy Says Inauguration of New Parliament in Somalia 'Historic Moment'". Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Communiqué on Secretary-General’s Mini-Summit on Somalia". United Nations. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Turkey-Somalia military agreement approved". Today's Zaman. 9 November 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Turkey raises $201 million for Somalia". Hurriyet. August 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Somali'ye Türk firma havalimanı yapacak". Aksam. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "1st Turkish-Somali Business Forum". Somali Council. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Turkey, Somalia sign military training pact". People's Daily Online. 23 May 2010. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Holidays in Mogadishu". Port Strategy. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "The federal parliament of Somalia challenges the government's agreement with Turkish Company". Goobjoog. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Somalia: Federal Parliament postpones vote on Seaport Management Deal". Garowe Online. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "SOMALIA: Ministry of Defense signs an agreement of military support with Turkish Defense ministry". Raxanreeb. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Somalia: President Hassan and President Silanyo meet in Turkey". Garowe Online. 13 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013. 
  18. ^ "Historic Somalia Summit in Ankara. Presidents of Somalia and Somaliland met in Ankara". Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Embassy of the Somali Federal Republic in Ankara". Embassy of the Somali Federal Republic in Ankara. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  20. ^ "Turkey reshuffles key envoys". Hurriyet Daily News. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 

External links[edit]