— Turkish Presidency (@trpresidency) May 31, 2016
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived at Entebbe Airport on Tuesday night for his first visit to Uganda.
Erdogan visits Uganda and then Kenya between May 31 and June 3, marking the first time a Turkish president has visited these East African countries.
Businessmen from Turkey are to accompany Erdogan during his trip and will aim to strengthen economic ties, according to the Turkey presidency.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a press conference at Adnan Menderes Airport in İzmir before leaving for his visit to Uganda, Kenya and Somalia.
“I will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Makerere University, meet with their professors and students. President Museveni and I will attend a business forum that will bring together our businessmen,” Erdogan told the press.
According to the Turkey Presidency, he recognized Uganda’ s role maintaining security and peace in the region, and in managing the refugee situation in Africa.
“Uganda and Kenya greatly contribute to maintaining peace and stability in their region. They also house a significant number of refugees. As a country that has opened its doors to 3 million people, we understand the problems they have very well and appreciate their sacrifice. As we saw once again during the World Humanitarian Summit we hosted last week, poor countries shoulder the real burden of the refugee problem in the world.”
FIRST PRESIDENTIAL VISIT FROM TURKEY TO UGANDA
Stating that he will meet President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on Wednesday and chair official talks between delegations, President Erdoğan pointed out that this will be the first Presidential visit from Turkey to Uganda. Stressing the historic importance of his visit, the President said: “I will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Makerere University, meet with their professors and students. President Museveni and I will attend a business forum that will bring together our businessmen.”
The Turkish Tayyip Edorgan is in Uganda at Makerere University today pic.twitter.com/MhVrLrXaS6
— Makerere Alumni (@MakerereAlumni) June 1, 2016
“KENYA: ONE OF THE KEY COUNTRIES IN EAST AFRICA”
“Afterward, we, along with our delegation, will head to Kenya,” President Erdoğan said, underscoring that Kenya, with its political and historical position and its regional relations, is one of the key countries in East Africa. “I will meet with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on Thursday and discuss regional and bilateral matters. And also a ceremony will be held, marking the delivery of the tractors and ambulances, granted by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA),” President Erdoğan added.
“WE SHOULD LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED TO ACHIEVE OUR GOALS FOR 2023”
The President stated: “At the business forums, our businessmen will meet their counterparts to discuss how to improve our bilateral relations on a sectoral basis. We should maintain this momentum. We should leave no stone unturned to achieve our goals for 2023.”
“WE HAVE 39 EMBASSIES IN AFRICA”
Ponting to Turkey’s ties with East Africa that date back to the 16th century, President Erdoğan said: “Our embassy in Nairobi, one of the oldest Turkish embassies in the Sub-Saharan region, was opened in 1968. Our embassy in Kampala is one of the first embassies, opened as a result of our Policy of Opening up to Africa. Currently, there are 39 Turkish embassies in Africa. And African countries have 32 embassies in Turkey.”
“TURKEY’S INTEREST IN AFRICA NOT A PASSING FANCY”
“Up until 10 years ago, Turkey had a very limited presence in Africa. Today, we carry out very significant works there with our trade offices, TIKA offices, diplomatic missions and NGOs”, the President said and he added: “We, in line with our development-oriented policy, work to tend to our African friends’ bleeding wounds and also endeavor to leave lasting marks that will serve them in the long term. Now the whole world knows that Turkey’s interest in Africa is not a passing fancy.”
“UGANDA AND KENYA HOUSE A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF REFUGEES”
Underscoring that Turkey will maintain its relations with African countries as a strategic partner of the continent, President Erdoğan said: “Uganda and Kenya greatly contribute to maintaining peace and stability in their region. They also house a significant number of refugees. As a country that has opened its doors to 3 million people, we understand the problems they have very well and appreciate their sacrifice. As we saw once again during the World Humanitarian Summit we hosted last week, poor countries shoulder the real burden of the refugee problem in the world.”
“WE MUST PREVENT THESE SCENES”
“Rich and developed countries try to keep this problem out of their borders by setting up wire nets and walls, introducing strict visa regimes and even by sinking the boats,” President Erdoğan said and he added: “This indifference, these double standards cannot go on forever. As the summer begins, news of hundreds of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean began once again. These scenes must be prevented at once.”
“We will continue to raise this issue, this injustice, remind the international community of their responsibilities and help countries like Kenya and Uganda that shoulder the burden of helping the refugees”, the President said and he ended his statement as follows: “We will maintain our close cooperation our African friends on the basis of mutual benefit. Following our visit to these two countries, we also plan to visit Somalia. I hope our visit will yield beneficial results for the entire continent and entire humanity.”