Turkey Plans to Construct $6 Million State-of-the-Art Somali Embassy in Ankara

Turkish media slam the government’s project, but reports reveal Somalia donated more land in 2015 than Turkey plans to give now. Turkey will build an embassy and provide land to Somalia costing over $6m, as per a deal presented to the Turkish parliament on Monday. The agreement, signed in 2022, states that Turkey will make this contribution in exchange for land donated by Somalia in 2015. The largest Turkish diplomatic mission in the world, built in Mogadishu, cost $65m and covered more than 61,000 sqm. In return, Somalia will receive 4,918 sqm of land in Ankara for the Incek diplomatic site. Turkey intends to construct a 3,000 sqm embassy on this land, with Somalia retaining the right to sell the property in the future if desired. However, the Turkish parliament must approve the agreement first. The deal has faced backlash in Turkish media, particularly from the opposition newspaper Sozcu, which ran a headline reading, “There is no saving from the love of Somalia”. The report criticized the government for funding an embassy for Somalia while cutting back on domestic projects due to austerity measures. Sozcu claimed the land’s value at 200m Turkish lira ($6.5m), although sources suggest the total cost of the building and land might be less than $6m. One source emphasized that the land given to Turkey in Somalia is much larger and situated in a prime location in Mogadishu. Turkish President Erdogan’s government has invested heavily in Somalia since 2011, offering over $1bn in humanitarian aid in response to a severe drought. Turkey has a significant military presence in Mogadishu and operates the city’s airport and port through agreements with the Somali government. The country has also trained thousands of Somali soldiers and provided drones for use against armed groups in Somalia. Ankara contributes around $30m annually to the Somali budget and paid off a $3.4m IMF loan on behalf of the country in 2020. Turkey and Somalia recently signed a naval defense deal and an energy exploration agreement targeting hydrocarbon reserves in Somalia’s waters. Relations between the two countries faced scrutiny when the son of the Somali president was involved in a fatal car accident in Istanbul. He faced trial, received a prison sentence, and later paid a fine to avoid imprisonment.

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