The government of Turkey is fully aware of the sovereignty status of the republic of Somaliland.
This was stated by the Turkish consul general in Hargeisa Ambassador Muzaffer Yuksel during a rare press briefing in which he revealed that the independent status of Somaliland are to ensue with new diplomatic protocols.
The head of the Turkish mission in Hargeisa which is controlled from the main embassy in Mogadishu, Somalia, also revealed that a formal request for the banishment of Organizations associated with the Gulen movement has been extended to the Government of Somaliland.
Amb Yuksel who reiterated the sovereignty of Somaliland was at pains expressing that the decision of the local authorities in Hargeisa shall be respected by Ankara.
“While aware that Somaliland has rules and regulations that govern operations of foreign humanitarian and development organizations in the country we have submitted an official request for the suspension of Turkish institutions funded by the Gulen movement” said the diplomat seemingly unaware that the Government of Somaliland has already stated its position on the issue.
Following the coup attempt in Turkey in which repercussions continue to be felt with over 50,000 nationals so far suspended from work or in custody authorities in Turkey have pointed a finger at cleric Fetullah Gulen as the man behind the failed bid to oust former ally president Tayyip Raccip Erdogan.
Contrary to its neighbour Somalia which closed all Gulen funded organizations immediately after the abortive coup the authorities in Hargeisa have stated that the intent to follow suit does not exist.
According to the minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation Dr Saad Ali Shire
“Currently the Nile Academy continues to fulfill all conditions set by the Government and until such are contravened its operations are secure”
Nile Academy is a Gulen funded institution of learning based in Hargeisa where it is acclaimed with provision of high quality education to local citizens.
The Turkish envoy to Somaliland further stated that improved diplomatic relations have resulted in the enhancement of bi-lateral relations in which the local passport has now been accepted as a valid travel document to Turkey.
“To start with the new protocols the president and First Lady of Somaliland were the first to benefit from use of the local passport to Turkey” said MB Yuksel adding that the general public holding Somaliland passports shall be availed visas soon.
The president of Somaliland Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo accompanied by the First Lady Amina Weris is currently on a private visit to Turkey where they entered with valid visas stamped on their Somaliland passports.
Stressing that changes in diplomatic etiquette’s do not happen overnight but take time, the Turkish envoy revealed that in the near future Ankara is set to establish a dual track policy in its humanitarian and development funding engagememt between Somaliland and Somalia.
Currently the bulk of Turkey funded programs in the Horn region is concentrated in Somalia the Neighbouring war torn country where president Erdogan is credited with reviving its prolonged status as a failed state after becoming the first foreign head of state to visit the country decades.
Without giving specifics the Consul General revealed that plans are at advanced stages for Ankara to start promised construction of various asphalt roads in the country namely The road linking Djibouti to the border town of Sayla, and the Burao-Gara’adag-Erigavo road.
“A team from the concerned ministry has already been issued visas to visit Ankara for final arrangements” said Yuksel adding that other immediate in puts by his Government shall see a terminal established at the port of Berbera.
On the issue of international sanctioned talks between Somaliland and Somalia which are hosted by Turkey, the envoy stressed on the impartiality of his Government despite the fact that it, Ankara authorities, have either failed or refused to ensure that the Somalia Federal Government adheres to agreements.
“We are only mediators in the talks and decision reached between the two negotiating teams shall be respected” said diplomat as pertains the stalled talks whose numerous resumption dates have failed to take effect due to the obstinacy of negotiating teams from Mogadishu
While the new direction by Turkey from its former lackluster engagement with Somaliland is good news somalilanders are on, wait and see, owing to the overt impartiality portrayed by Turkey vis ‘a’ vis its support for the ‘Reunification’’ with Somaliland at all costs, Stance taken by the SFG which is a taboo subject for Somalilanders whose sovereignty is not only NON NEGOTIABLE but IRREVOCABLE as well.
In a Nutshell most citizens see the failed attempt coup in Turkey as a Blessing in disguise for its success would have remove the Erdogan administration and its influence on the region from the scene.