18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Turkish Airlines connects Somalia to world with regular flights

Turkish Airlines started flights to Mogadishu this week, the first major international carrier to run a regular service to the Somali capital in more than two decades.    

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ flew into Mogadishu to launch the twice-weekly Turkish Airlines  service to İstanbul via Sudan's capital Khartoum.     

"Somalia was cut off but we have now connected it to the world," he told reporters at Mogadishu's airport on Tuesday.     

"We have repaired the airport and now international flights can use it. We have discussed with the president and Turkey will also do local flights inside Somalia."     

Somalia has largely been a security vacuum since a dictator was ousted in 1991. Stability is gradually returning to the capital after rebels were forced out by African Union and government troops last year.     

Until now, flights into Mogadishu have been operated by small east African operators linking the Horn of Africa nation to neighboring countries.     

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Somalia last August, the first non-African government leader to do so in nearly 20 years.      

The Turks have since opened an embassy, improved the international airport, offered Somalis university places in Turkey and made plans to build a new hospital.        

Erdoğan's visit reflected Turkey's efforts to boost its profile in Africa, as it has done in the Middle East in recent years, and to promote itself as a model Muslim democracy.       

Turkey is behind other emerging countries such as China, Brazil and India in the race for new markets in Africa. But under Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, Turkey has boosted trade with the continent and opened several new embassies, particularly in Muslim Africa.          

Thank you Turkish Airlines. Every Somali I know, and there are many of them all over the world, wants to fly with Turkish Airlines.
As a Somali, I am very grateful to the Turkish people and their government as well as the Turkish businesses and charity organisation for their sincere, honest, brotherly and tangible support they afforded to our down but not dead country. No other nation in history did as much favour as Turkey did ...
Beutiful news! Our hearts beat for the somali people, our brothers and sister, equals and friends!
Osman F
There you go! that is what I call a selfless good deed and a big hearted brotherly gesture in a cruel world where such act is extremely rare and we are very thankful to the people of Turkey and to their noble leaders.
We somalis appreciate Turkey, its government and its people for their generosity and humanity. The Somali TV channels have been flooded with the generisity of the Turkey. The 1000s of students whogot schalarship and the many projects taking place in Somalia today. We will never forget this brotherly...
Abdallah Afmadoow
Thank you Turkey, thank you Turkish Airlines.. Somalia sure loves you back.
Well done Turkey! May Allah bless the Turkish nation, especially your wise and compassionate leaders. It takes courage to help the poor. Thank you a million times!! When Turkey wakes up from its long slumber, it will be a force for good in the world.
A thankful person
This deeds are showing that somalia is going to stand its feets again after so many years of lonly pain. we somalis are very lucky having turkish nation ¤ it's leaders PM Erdogan, his famly and other good Turkish leaders and poeple may allah protect you from evil. Amiin
Baladweyne, Somaliya
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