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Gambia has ‘benefited immensely’ from Turkey, says Interior Minister

Jul 1, 2015, 10:17 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The Gambia government and by extension the public and the private sectors have benefitted immensely from the country’s relations with Turkey, the Interior Minister has said.

Ousman Sonko said the Gambia-Turkey relationship, which started decades back, has brought immense benefit to the West African nation in areas such as security and health.

Regarding security, The Gambia has benefitted in terms of increased knowledge, facilities and accumulated experience for security officers which have boosted their professional standard.

Minister Sonko was speaking at police headquarters in Banjul during a presentation of 450 police uniforms that Turkey donated to The Gambia.

“I wish to further remind this gathering that the relationship between the two countries will continue to flourish,” he said. “The president is proud to have Turkey as friend.”

Minister Sonko said the Ministry of Interior of The Gambia and that of Turkey signed a security cooperation agreement in Banjul in 2014. Following the agreement, the Gambia Police Force and the Turkish National Police signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2014. 

At the invitation of the Turkish National Police, a delegation headed by the former Inspector General of Police, Yankuba Sonko, visited Turkey in August 2014 to work out modalities on the implementation of the MOU.

The delegation was able to secure training for some of police officers; currently four Gambian police officers are nearing completion of their training and are due back home in July 2015.  

Minister Sonko said they are currently in negotiation with their Turkish counterparts for another batch of Gambian officers to undergo training in Turkey.