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Supreme Islamic Council visits Turkey to fortify ties

May 5, 2017, 11:01 AM | Article By: Yaya B. Baldeh reporting from Ankara, Turkey

A Gambian delegation mainly from The Gambia government and Supreme Islamic Council are currently on a working visit to Turkey’s cities such as Ankara, Konya and Istanbul to strengthen ties and scout out for areas of cooperation.

The tour delegation included Mr Ebrima Ceesay, permanent secretary, Office of the President; Mr Musa Drammeh, President’s adviser on Investment; Mr Dembo Foday Bojang, President’s adviser on Local Government and Religious Affairs; Imam Momodou Lamin Touray, President of The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council and his executive members among others.

In Ankara, the Gambian delegations were hosted by Turkish Diyanet Foundation (a religious affairs body) to discuss on possible areas of cooperation between the two bodies.

In welcoming the tour delegates, Prof. Dr Mehmet Gormez, President of Diyanet Foundation, said The Gambia as a predominantly Muslim country is a crucial partner with their foundation.

He further renewed commitment to working and strengthening relations between the two nations. 

During the interface, the Gambian representatives expressed delight and appreciation over the invitation accorded to them.

Further, Gambian representatives requested for partnership from their counterparts in areas such as trainings for scholars and curriculum development on religious institutions and possible investment sectors in The Gambia among others.

The delegation also paid visit to Turkish Co-operation and Co-ordination Agency (TIKA) office in Ankara led by President Adama Barrow’s advisers Musa Drammeh and Dembo Foday Bojang.

While at TIKA office, they also discussed possible ways of collaboration with TIKA in various development projects.

In a separate engagement, the tour delegation also met with some Gambian students in Ankara. The delegation was received by students and therein words of commendations were exchanged.

Imam Momodou Lamin Touray, president of Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, thanked students for the warm welcome accorded to his delegations.

He also shared words of wisdom with the students, calling on them to continue working harder in their academic pursuit and always consider The Gambia’s interest first in anything.

For his part, Abdoulie Sawo, Secretary General, Association of Gambian Students’ in Turkey (AGAST), introduced his association to the delegation and assured them of the strong brotherly bond existing among them in Turkey as students.

Mr Sawo was quick to call on the Gambian delegates to encourage their Turkish government counterparts to increase scholarship awards to Gambian students as a way of flying many Gambian students to Turkey to pursue higher learning.

“I also think it would be of immense benefit to encourage the Turkish community to invest in areas like agriculture in order to boost the deteriorating youth unemployment among other potential sectors, for our common good as a nation,” Secretary General Sawo appealed.