Cameroon - Turkey: Evaluating Long-standing Ties

Turkey’s 95th anniversary was celebrated on October 29, 2018.

As part of his drive to enhance Turkey’s modernisation, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has embarked on a number of mega-projects. One of them is the 12 billion US dollar (6,922.3 billion FCFA) Istanbul International Airport, which the authorities say is the world’s largest airfield. The facility, which was commissioned by President Erdogan on October 29, 2018 on the occasion of the 95th anniversary of the foundation of the country, will eventually handle 200 million passengers a year.

Turkish Ambassador to Cameroon, Murat Ulku, who will soon come to the end of his tour of duty, held a reception in Yaounde on October 29, 2018 on the occasion of his country’s National Day. The government of Cameroon was represented at the function by the Minister Delegate to the Minister of External Relations in charge of Cooperation with the Islamic World, Adoum Gargoum. In his goodwill message read at the event, President Erdogan paid homage to the heroes of Turkey’s liberation war and troops who lost their lives in recent terrorist attacks.

He said Turkey is today the world’s leading aid donor nation, though its economy is ranked 17th in the world. “This is part of our sharing with oppressed people, instead of turning our backs to them,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted.

Ambassador Ulku recalled that the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk after a protracted liberation war from May 19, 1919 to October 29, 1923. He felicitated President Paul Biya on his recent re-election, expressing the wish that the victory will open a new page to strengthen national cohesion and dialogue.

He said Cameroon is continuing its steady march to a more prosperous and certain future, notwithstanding the challenges. Ulku expressed hope that the Anglophone question will be resolved in a democratic manner and offered his country’s “unrelenting support for Cameroon’s fight against terrorism and secessionist violence.”  

  Other areas of achievements in bilateral cooperation include the recent appointment of Cameroon’s first Ambassador to Ankara and the increasing number of Cameroonian military officers training in Turkey, especially in counter-terrorism. After a lull, trade exchanges between the two sides have picked up, he said. The Japoma Stadium in Douala is being constructed by a Turkish firm, while work by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, TIKA, on a vocational training centre will soon begin in Yaound

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