Somali and Turkish officials on Saturday officially opened a military training base in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The facility is Turkey’s largest overseas military training facility. Somalia’s Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khyare, was joined by the Turkish army chief, General Hulusi Akar and other top officials for the ceremony.
Turkey is seen as a major security and development ally of the Somali people. President Erdogan last year opened the country’s new embassy also in Mogadishu.
The Horn of Africa region given its strategic location is a choice location for military bases by foreign powers. Neighboring Djibouti for instance hosts bases for China, France and Japan.
In July last year, the Somali government ordered the shut down of organizations linked to Fetullah Gulen – the supposed mastermind of a failed coup in Turkey. There were also nationwide protests held in support of Erdogan’s government.
The relations between Turkey and Somalia date back to the Ottoman Empire when Somalia had extensive relations with the Sultan Selim, during his rule in 1517.