Turkey offers to build 10,000 homes for poor families in Somalia

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to build 10,000 homes in the next two years for families in Somalia who cannot afford to build or buy their own. 

We need to find the lost image of Mogadishu– Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish president

Erdogan made his offer during a visit to Somalia, the second he has made during his presidency. He also launched a project to build a terminal at the Aden Adde International Airport in the capital of Mogadishu. The airport was recently renovated with Turkish support, and Turkish Airlines was the first international carrier to resume flights to it. 

Erdogan said: "We need to find the lost image of Mogadishu so that people will see that it is recovering from the civil war." 

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia’s president, acknowledged the role Turkey has played in restarting the Somalian economy: "Turkey did not hold back, waiting for stability before it invested. Instead, it invested. And where other international partners chose to plan their interventions from elsewhere, Turkey put its people on the ground in Somalia." 

Ahmedweli Hussein Mohamud, managing editor of Goobjoog News, said: "The investments Turkey has made have had a great impact on Somali lives, and they were all in areas that needed it." However, he criticised Turkey for spending too money much in Mogadishu at the expense of other areas of the country.  

Turkey’s willingness to put its people on the ground has aroused the hostility of the radical Islamist Al-Shabab organisation, which has accused Turkish workers of spreading secularism.  

A Turkish security official and a Somali student were killed in an attack on the Turkish consulate and relief mission in Mogadishu in July 2013, and hundreds of soldiers were deployed to protect Erdogan and his entourage after a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the hotel where the president’s advance party was staying. 

The visit to Somalia ends Erdogan’s tour of the Horn of Africa, which has included visits to Ethiopia and Djibouti. 

Photograph: Somalian President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud (R) bids farewell Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (front L) in Mogadishu, Somalia on January 25, 2015. (Photo by Kayhan Ozer/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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