Turkish, Gambian officials discuss bilateral relations


Turkey's Africa policy is not based on political and economic prospects, said the country's parliament speaker Wednesday.

Ismail Kahraman met his Gambian counterpart Mariam Denton and Vice President Aja Fatoumata Tambajang in the capital Ankara.

They discussed bilateral relations as well as improving relations between Turkey and the continent.

Kahraman said that Turkey's Africa policy is the product of strong history and cultural aspects.

Relations with Africa constitute one of the prime orientations of Turkish foreign policy. It has gained a substantial momentum since the declaration of Turkey as a strategic partner of the continent by the African Union in January 2008.

For his part, the Gambian vice president expressed gratitude to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his "closeness" to African people.

"We follow his leadership with great respect. He supports democracy not only in Turkey but also in all the countries in sub-Sahara."

Referring to the July 15, 2016 defeated coup plotted by the Fetullah Terrorist Organizaton (FETO), Tambajang said his country has shut down all the schools linked to the terrorist group.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

Later, Kahraman met his Moldovan counterpart Andrian Candu.

The Turkish parliament speaker told Candu that FETO-linked Orizont Schools still exist in Moldovan.

"Those schools are a threat to you," he said and asked the Moldovan parliament speaker to transfer those schools to Turkey's Maarif Foundation.

Candu promised to "closely follow" the activities of such schools until they find a legal way to transfer them to Turkish foundation.

Like in Georgia and Ukraine, Turkish parliament speaker also talked about the possibility of visa- and passport-free traveling of Turkish citizens to Moldova.

He said the traveling would contribute to cooperation in economy and tourism.

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