U2's Bono praises Erdoğan's Somalia visit, Turkish aid campaigns
Bono, lead singer of Irish rock band U2, presents an iPod to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in İstanbul in September 2010.
Bono, the 51-year-old front man of Irish super group U2 and an activist, has praised a recent visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the famine-hit African country of Somalia, calling the move an example of great courage.
The singer, who recently secretly travelled to Turkey to visit the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, sent a message to Erdoğan via Turkey's European Union Affairs Minister Egemen Bağış and thanked Erdoğan for his sensitivity on Somalia. Recalling that Erdoğan was the first world leader to travel Somalia, he said considering the security problems in Somalia his visit was an example of great courage.
Praising Turkey's aid efforts for the famine-stricken country he called on all world countries to extend a helping hand to the African country in his message. Erdoğan reportedly welcomed Bono's message. Bono is among the leaders of the ONE Campaign, an educational nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the importance of fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.
Turkey recently initiated a countrywide aid campaign to help Somalia. Erdoğan visited Mogadishu and several refugee camps in the country last month, pledging more aid in cash and infrastructure. Turkey has so far sent eight planes and four ships of humanitarian relief supplies to famine-stricken Somalia. Turkey has so far collected a total of TL 393.39 million ($225 million) in donations for Somalia, according to the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate.
Bono's U2 was in İstanbul as part of his band's “360 degree” world tour last year and met with Erdoğan ahead of the group's debut İstanbul appearance at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium.