Turkey to keep ties with South Sudan

Turkey to keep ties with South Sudan
Minister of Presidential Affairs Barnaba Marial Benjamin (left) poses for a photo with the Turkish Ambassador to South Sudan Erdem Mutaf. [Photo: Benjamin Takpiny]

The Turkish government has committed to robust bilateral relations with South Sudan to ensure mutual benefits for the two countries.

 The promise was made by the Turkish Ambassador to South Sudan Erdem Mutaf during the 98th-anniversary independence celebration in Juba last week. 

The celebration in Juba was attended by several government dignitaries including the Minister of Presidential Affairs Dr Barnaba Marial Benjamin who represented president Salva Kiir in the event.

Speaking at the celebration last Friday, the Turkish Ambassador to South Sudan, Erdem Mutaf acknowledged the remarkable legacy of their national founding father. 

He said the Turkish government was committed to strengthening its bilateral relations with South Sudan.

“Turkey and South Sudan enjoy a strong bilateral relationship. The Turkish Embassy was operating for the last 10 years without interruption. Turkish Embassy will cooperate closely with all officials, authorities, and various international institutions for the betterment of South Sudan. On behalf of the Turkish Embassy and its staff, I thank you very much for joining us today for sharing our joy,” said the Ambassador.

Historic relations

The Minister for Presidential Affairs Br. Barnaba Marial Benjamin said Turkey and the South had a long history that could not be underrated. 

“As you all know, the people of South Sudan and the people of Turkey share a very long history since 1880. We had a historical chapter in the lives of the people of South Sudan from 1821 to 1881. That is 60 years that the people of South Sudan are great ancestors that have known Turkish presence in this country,” he said.

“Our national character is this river behind you: River Nile. It is this river that brought in a lot of friends in the life of our history. 

“The Republic of South Sudan has come after a very long struggle of resilient people who have come a long way, we had a Turkish consulate before even our independence, we thank you for that participation and support of our interim period,” Dr Barnaba said.

The Presidential Affairs Minister said South Sudan has had wonderful bilateral relations with Turkey saying a lot has been done in areas of capacity building.

“We have South Sudan and Turkey having a relationship in the area of education, scholarships; most of our students have won scholarships in Turkey. We have seen in the area of agriculture their contribution in terms of enhancing and supporting our country in our Agricultural programs; either in equipment.”

He hailed the Turkish government and its people for their unwavering efforts of encouraging investment in South Sudan at the international level.

Dr Barnaba revealed that the Vice President, Economic Cluster Dr James Wani Igga had attended the third Turkey-Africa Economic and Business forum where he led a delegation. He said it was one of the biggest international forums which would pave the way for the Turkish investment in South Sudan. 

He said South Sudan is one of the nations that can favourable agriculture if peace was sustained, encouraging investors not to think much about the war in the country instead focus on strengthening the peace process through development. 

“Peace is the cornerstone of development; we have tremendous agriculture potential in this country. The size of this country is a huge chunk of land but it is not wasted land. It is fertile land that can grow anything you can think of in this country.”

“We have tremendous potential in wildlife and I am sure our ministers who are here have interacted with most of you in the area of wildlife. If we say we have one of the biggest wildlife movements in this country, …area of tourism which is an area we can encourage,” Dr Barnaba stressed.

Independence

Turkey attained its independence on October 29, 1923, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following the elimination of the Ottoman Sultan. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) who was an army officer founded the independent Republic of Turkey.

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