Turkey’s Partiality Threatens Somaliland

Since the era of the Ottoman Empire Istanbul has been involved in the Somali horn one way or another. One obvious example could be the Alliance of Somali Adel Islamic state in Zeila and Ottoman Empire against the Christian Abyssinia backed by the Portuguese Empire in the 16th century. Around these times ottoman empire ruled parts of Somal in alliance with Local States or through Egyptians. There are historic monuments like thousand years old mosques Built by Othman empire in Berbera, Zeila, Mogadishu and other Areas. And the involvement of The ottomans was not confined in the political Aspect but intermingled in both Somali culture and language.

The Turkish government led by the AK party has shown its speedy interest in the horn of Africa from August 2011 during which Somalia was facing one of the worst droughts ever. Recep Tayyip Erdogan ( prime minister at the time) and his wife came to Mogadishu Unexpectedly for a Humanitarian mission. And the minister of foreign affairs declared Turkey’s full Support to Somalia:” “We came to Somalia to show our solidarity with the brothers and sisters of Somalia, but this is not just for one day, we will continue to work for our brothers and sisters and we will never leave them alone,” . After that historic visit, Turkey has helped Somalia in many ways; Security, Infrastructure, Health and gave even logistic and Diplomatic Support and the people in South Somalia overwhelmingly shown their love and gratitude for the Turkish government and It Is people.

But there is some part in Somal taken out of the picture Since Turkey’s glance to the horn of Africa. This part called Somaliland has united with its sister South Somal on 1st July 1960 After their separate independence from Britain and Italy respectively. But after repeated injustice faced by Northern people from the birth of the Democratic Somali Republic followed by Horrific massacre committed by the dictator Mohamed Said barre and his Generals in late 1980th. in which Somali Air force bombarded Hargeisa( capital city of the North) and killed about 300,000 civilians. Somalilanders were forced to take up guns and after a long Bloodshed Struggle, Somaliland proclaimed it’s Sovereignty in 1991 and it has been looking for international recognition Since. The ports Berberah and Zeila due to their proximity to the Gulf of Aden and Bab-al-Mandab make Somaliland Geopolitically Essential but the Turkish Government instead of strengthening this peaceful and well-functioning part of Previously what was the Somali Republic and in return benefiting from these strategic ports and other resources. Ankara ignored Somaliland deliberately and chose to put all It’s Eggs in the South!!!

Moreover, Turkey started to rebuild the military of Somalia from the beginning of its Arrival.  on 30 Sep 2017 the largest overseas Turkish base was opened in Somalia. it’s expected to train and Arm more than 10,000 Somali Forces. while still Turkey trains more Somali forces back in Turkey especially military commanders and Air forces. And Now there are reliable sources that reveal the existence of a 2billion military deal between Somalia and Turkey. In which turkey will loan Somalia 12jet fighters of the model T50Tx, 3 Military transport Airbus and 8 Helicopters. which is good for the government of Somalia because this enables it to restore peace and order, to fight against the extremist group of Al-Shabaab, to secure it’s borders and May be finally to let go the need for AMISOM forces.

But again turkey ignores the danger of this armament to the Rest of the Horn, Somaliland in particular. since the administration of Mogadishu denies the right of northern people to become Sovereign state. It is not a big surprise Somalia to use power against Somaliland as soon as it Unifies the shattered parts of the South.

Turkey should be very careful and become Impartial when dealing with Somali Affairs or it will involve itself in New civil wars and massacres. in an Area suffered enough from wars and yearns for peace and to catch up with other Nations.

Dr. Abdikarim yasin Adam (Qamus)

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