INTRODUCTIONThe relations between Somalia and Turkey are consensual in nature. These two countries are longtime associates, involved in intimate development partnership. Turkey has an embassy in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia, while Somalia also has its embassy in Ankara, Turkeys capital city. The associations between the two nations can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Their relationship can also be dated back to the period of the war between Adal and Abyssinia. In the year 1969, the two countries were among the states that formed the OIC (Organization of the Islamic Cooperation.
Initially, Turkey had an embassy in Somalia until when the Somali Civil War started in the year 1991. From this period, it was no longer possible to continue operations in the country due to the security situation. After quite some time, the government of Turkey reestablished their associations with the newly formed Transitional National Government of Somalia and the administration that came after, Transitional Federal Government, though this time it was done via their non-resident diplomatic mission in the countrys capital city. After there was greatly enhanced security situation in the country in the year 2011, Turkey decided to reopen its foreign embassy in Mogadishu. The intention was of this reopening was to essentially help the country in getting out of the situation that it had found itself in during the period of the Civil War and try to bring development. This made Turkey to be among the first foreign governments to continue their formal diplomatic associations with the nation after the deadly period in its history.
In August 2012, the Federal Government of Somalia was formed with Hassan Sheikh Mohamud becoming its President. This development was embraced by the government of Turkey, who assured of continued support and cooperation from their side. This has since strengthened the relationships between these two countries that they now cooperate on many areas. These two countries have sighed various agreements between their different departments.
LEGAL ASPECTS OF THE COOPERATION
Military Training Agreement
The administrations of Turkey and Somalia, in May 2010, entered into a pact regarding the training of military, which were in agreement with the provisions stipulated in the Djibouti Peace Process. Implementation of the agreement formally started in November 2012. This outlined the cooperation that involved scientific, technical and scientific matters. The agreement involves joint-service operations between the two national armies and sharing of personnel together with delegations. Furthermore, it includes training services by the Military Medical Academy and Mapping General Command of Turkey, between the coast guard and gendarmerie, together with in-field training as well as teaching at the national military schools and installations. Moreover, the pact encompasses stipulations for the common sharing of information regarding museology, publications and history of the military.
An Agreement to Manage the Mogadishu Port
In the month of October 2013, the federal cabinet of Somalia approved an agreement with a company from Turkey called Al-Bayrak for the management or operation of the Mogadishu Port for a period of twenty years. The pact involved assigning the company the duty of reconstructing and making the port modern. This pact was formally implemented by the countrys Federal Government in the month of September 2014.
The management of the company indicated that in accordance with the provisions of the deal, fifty five percent of the proceeds realized at the port would go to the government of Somalia and the balance of forty-five percent to be retained by the organization. A bigger percentage of the share of profits of the firm would consequently be reinvested in the port via more port-based business and novel docks, materials for construction purposes and equipment.
Follow-up Military Pact
Brigadier General Dahir Adan Elmi, who is the Chief of Staff of the Somalian Military entered into a follow-up army deal with a faction from the Turkey, representing the countrys Defense Ministry in the month of February 2014. The deal provides that the Turkish administration will soon initiate a training program in Somalia for a section of the Somalian Military, and some of the Somalian Military will also travel to Turkey to receive special training from there.
Further Development Agreements
These two countries also signed development pacts as regards security and military association, police support together with coordination, marine shipping, sports and youth programs as well as collaboration between the national radio and televisions of the two countries.
The administration of Turkey realized that to solve one issue would not be of much help to Somalia in its quest to regain its lost glory, but instead, the country needed reconstruction from scratch. However, in order to be in a position of achieving this, the administration of Turkey decided to engage on projects that would have significant and faster impact, which all falls under four main pillars of humanitarian help, development of infrastructure, reconstruction of the security apparatus as well as the intensive attempts to bring compromise among different Somalian groups.
The guiding code for the engagement between the two nations is that it should be centered on bilateral relations. Turkish engagements in Somalia have been legal and have followed all the due processes required. All activities within the territories of Somalia have been documented and there are provisions to guide them. The deals signed have been endorsed by both parties and their cooperation has been excellent. So far, the engagements have been beneficial as the army of Somalia have received special training from their Turkish counterparts to enable them fight terrorism that has crippled the country for several years. The deals have also seen the country get improved infrastructure and proper management of resources. If this continues, it is just a matter of time before Somalia is back to its feet and start enjoying the benefits of peace and economic growth.
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