Statement by President Adama Barrow in Turkey

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Your Excellency, Recept Tyyip Erdogan, president of the Republic of Turkey.

Your Excellency Mrs. Emine Erdogan.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ministers,

Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies & Gentlemen.

Allow me to begin by conveying, on my behalf and on behalf of my delegation, our sincere appreciation for the invitation extended to us to visit this beautiful country, the Republic of Turkey.

I would, at the very outset like to convey my gratitude for the warm welcome and the excellent arrangements accorded to us since our arrival.

Your Excellency today marks an important occasion in the history of our time tested relations. Cooperation between The Gambia and Turkey is deeply rooted in the history and common interests of our peoples and our friendship and respect for each other.

My visit to the Republic of Turkey has a clear purpose; we want to reinforce the relations between our two countries at all levels. I sincerely hope that my visit will give a further impetus to the relationship between our two countries and I wish to emphasize our desire to maintain and strengthen our bonds of friendship.

Your Excellency, I would like to mention that earlier today, I was privileged to pay tribute in the laying of wreath at ATATURK Mausoleum in honour of MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATÜRK, the Founder and First President of the Republic of Turkey. There is no doubt that Ataturk was deeply admired and respected worldwide.

Allow me to also seize this opportunity to congratulate your Excellency, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Turkish people for the victory during the Constitutional referendum held in April 2017.

Your Excellency

Distinguished Guests

Ladies & Gentlemen.

I want to thank Your Excellency Mr. President and dear brother for the laudable initiative on Turkey – Africa Partnership. Turkey has long-standing historical and cultural relations with the African continent dating back centuries. It constitutes one of the prime orientations of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey – Africa relations have gained a substantial momentum since the declaration of Turkey as a strategic partner of the Continent by the African Union in 2008.

Turkey remains committed to support the institutional capacities of the African Union and other regional organizations in achieving progress on priority areas which will consolidate African ownership of African matters.

Your Excellency

Distinguished Guests

Ladies & Gentlemen.

Turkey firmly believes that it is a collective and shared responsibility to help the Least Developing Countries- LDCs, not just because it is a moral and ethical imperative, but also because global peace and security is directly linked with global sustainable development. We want to thank the Republic of Turkey under your visionary leadership for this important responsibility.

At the world stage, Turkey is a key player in global initiatives that promote global peace, solidarity and development. Turkey’s role in the peaceful resolution of disputes in the region and outside is recognizable.

Your Excellency

Distinguished Guests

Ladies & Gentlemen.

Turkey has been in the forefront of efforts to increase awareness of the international community on the threat of terrorism. Turkey has worked hard bilaterally and at various international platforms to create mechanisms for more effective counter-terrorism measures.

The July 15th, 2016 Coup attempt was an act of terrorism which was masterminded by the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).

The Turkish nation with the loyal members of the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkish Grand National Assembly stood up against the coup attempt and thwarted the plot. They stood firmly by democracy, democratic institutions and the Constitution.

The coup attempt unfortunately left many Turkish citizens dead and many more wounded. On behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of The Gambia and on my behalf, I wish to express heartfelt condolences to the Government and People of the Republic of Turkey and to the bereaved families on the tragic events of the 2016 attempted Coup.

We also wish to express our fraternal solidarity and unwavering support to the Government of Turkey in its effort to guard against the recurrence of this heinous act.

Your Excellency

Distinguished Guests

Ladies & Gentlemen.

On the home front, the 1st December 2016 Presidential elections resulted in my election as the President of the Republic which ended a 22-year autocratic rule and established the basis for a people centric leadership. Under my leadership, the strategic direction of the New Gambia will be to create a conducive environment that adequately aligns the Gambian people with their collective hopes and aspirations for socio-economic growth and development.

To this end, my administration has finalized a new national development blueprint called the National Development Plan (NDP 2018-2021).

The NDP for 2018-2021 seeks to streamline the economic growth agenda for Gambians and to provide the framework for guiding the economic re-engineering processes.

Your Excellency, The Gambia possesses deep-rooted friendship and fraternal ties with the Republic of Turkey and enjoys excellent relations. The bilateral relations between the two countries are rapidly improving in all spheres of governance. Numerous bilateral Agreements and Protocols have been signed by our two countries to cement further, what has been a very long lasting relationship between our two countries.

Your Excellency, Turkey has shown great generosity in aiding our development efforts, and has supported our democratic aspirations. Turkey has continued to render valuable support to The Gambia, which among others include the provision of scholarship packages and annual offer of short term training courses to develop the human resource base of the civil service and the security agencies.

The Government and the People of The Gambia continue to cherish the Republic of Turkey as key development partners. We are confident that the prevailing good-will between the Peoples of our two countries would continue to grow from strength to strength.

The generosity extended to The Gambia by the Republic of Turkey shall ever be remembered. Such magnanimous gesture continues to complement my government’s aim to improve the socio-economic development of The Gambia. Mr. President, you and I can deepen this relationship and we can bring our entrepreneurs and investors together for our common prosperity. I also take this opportunity to convey my deep gratitude to the Government and the people of Turkey for warmly embracing the Gambian Diaspora. I am glad to note that they have become an important bridge in linking our two countries.

Your Excellency

Distinguished Guests

Ladies & Gentlemen.

I conclude by reiterating my profuse sense of gratitude at the excellent bilateral relations and cooperation that happily exists between our two great countries. I also wish to highlight my full commitment and that of my government in further enhancing these relations for the mutual benefit of our two countries and peoples.

On behalf of my government, the Peoples of the Republic of The Gambia and my humble self, I hereby extend an invitation to your Excellency to undertake an official visit to my country in the very near future.

With these words, I thank Your Excellency once again for your gracious hospitality.

I THANK YOU!!!


Author: Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad of the Republic of The Gambia
Source: Picture: President Barrow