Considering the current chaos around the world, President Erdoğan’s visit to West Africa to recover the past brotherhood between the two sides, was received warmly by African countries
By Ilnur C,evic, Daily Sabah
The current visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which started in the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan and which will take him to Ghana, Nigeria and Guinea in the next three days, has shown the expectations and hope the people of these countries have in Turkey and that we should not only strive to maintain our unity and solidarity, economic viability and military strength but that we should keep in mind our responsibilities toward these people.
The dinner speech by Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara clearly showed the deep concern these people have for the recent terrorist attacks in the various parts of Turkey including the bomb attack in Ankara that left 29 dead. However, it also showed how closely and admiringly the people of West Africa follow the economic strides Turkey has made in becoming the 16th biggest economy in the world and the sixth biggest in Europe.
Turkey has clearly set a good example to the hopeless and suffering masses of Africa, making them believe that they too can break the chains imposed on them by the post-colonialist era and that they too can turn their underdeveloped economies into a developing one like Turkey.
President Erdoğan launched his campaign to open up to the African continent with a tour of East Africa. Now he is in West Africa and the march continues with success. Turkish businessmen are active in this part of the world setting up concrete plants, cement factories and cooperating in development projects. Turkey is winning the hearts and souls of the people of Africa showing it is here as a partner and not to exploit these people like the post-colonialists are doing.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s liberation movement in Anatolia in the 20th century was the source of inspiration for Africans against the colonialists and the oppressors. He was regarded as the father of the liberation movements of the Third World. Now today the new generation in Turkey can proudly say under Erdoğan they are not only a source of inspiration for the oppressed and suffering masses but they are also cooperating actively with these people to achieve their own development through their own means.
The Africans see clearly that the Turks are here as partners, as brothers and sisters, and not as the people who came from the West to exploit their rich resources and oppress them.
The Muslims of Africa see us as the bastion of the Islamic faith and have high expectations of Turkey. We cannot let them down. We have to help them develop their system of educating Muslim clergy who will not only serve the people but also teach the people the true Islam in its purest form and protect them from the religious extremists who are hurting the Muslim faith.
All that said we now have to see that at home we have an added task not only for ourselves but also for the sake of these people that we should keep our own house in order, maintain unity and solidarity to remain as the only hope for the future of these people.
Yes of course we will have our differences as we have in the Can Dündar case and so many other issues. We will have differences as we debate how to change our political and state system to make it more democratic and viable to continue our march forward and thus become an advanced country. We will have to struggle against PKK and DAESH terrorists and restore law and order in places where Kurdish extremists try to challenge the state. However we should never let these stand in the way in our efforts to remain as a source of hope for all these people.
President Erdoğan has come to Africa with a clear message: We are here to treat you as brothers and sisters and not act as your masters. Turkey is fulfilling a historic mission.