"We will take all necessary measures to ensure that the African

"We will take all necessary measures to ensure that the African continent takes its rightful place in the global system,"

President Erdogan said in his speech at the closing ceremony of the 4th Turkey-Africa Business and Economy Forum: "I want it to be known that we will make all kinds of contributions necessary for the African continent to take its rightful place in the global system."

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took part in the closing ceremony of the 4th Turkish-African Business and Economic Forum held at the Istanbul Congress Center and delivered a speech.

In his speech, President Erdogan said that he welcomed with heartfelt feelings the President of the Union of the Comoros and the Chairman-in-Office of the African Union Assoumani Azali and other participants.

On the occasion of the 4th Turkish-African Business and Economic Forum, President Erdogan expressed his satisfaction to receive participants in Istanbul, the cradle of civilizations, the city of history and culture.


Wishing the meeting to be favorable, President Erdogan continued: "As a Turkish nation, we have strong ties with African peoples since the 10th century. Centuries–old mosques, libraries, inns, ports built in different cities of the continent are just some of the signs of the ancient friendship between us. Traces of our common history can be found in every corner of the continent, from Sudan to Libya, from Harar to Timbuktu. We know that many citizens of the Ottoman Empire of African descent fought shoulder to shoulder with our ancestors, participating in the defense of the motherland in the World War. Another historical fact is that our war for independence against the occupiers has inspired courage and inspiration in the peoples of Africa in their struggle for freedom."

Noting that despite the deep history of relations with African countries, there was a period of interregnum in their relations, President Erdogan said: "Undoubtedly, the conditions of our country and the continent were effective in this. Our country, tired of years of wars, in the first years of the existence of our republic, mainly dealt with its internal problems and tried to heal the wounds. However, even during this period, Turkey has never turned its back on Africa and its peoples. We strongly supported the liberation movements on the continent, especially in the countries of North Africa, despite the difficult conditions of that period. Somehow we tried to maintain contacts with the peoples of Africa.


Stressing that in 2002, when they came to power, they gave priority to regions where relations were insufficiently developed, President Erdogan noted that Africa is one of them. President Erdogan continued: "The level of our relations with most countries of the continent did not suit either us or our African friends. Firstly, in 2003 we implemented a strategy for the development of trade and economic relations with Africa. Then, by declaring 2005 the "Year of Africa" in our country, we opened a new page in our relations with the continent. Embracing our African brothers and sisters again, we tried to develop our cooperation on the basis of equal partnership and mutual benefit. We have dropped the arrogant views of the continent. We have taken care to establish eye-level relationships with our African brothers and sisters, develop empathy and understand each other better. As a nation without a single stain of colonialism in its history, we have accepted the peoples of Africa without any discrimination."

Noting that in 2008 they turned their cooperation, which gained momentum thanks to the African Initiative, into an integral structure as a strategic partner of the African Union, President Erdogan said: "With the three Turkey-Africa Partnership summits we have organized, we have clearly demonstrated the seriousness of our country and the importance we attach to cooperation with the continent.


President Erdogan said that Africa occupies a special place in the heart of the Turkish nation, as well as in the country's foreign policy.

Stating that Africa holds a special place in his eyes and heart, President Erdogan said: "I have made more than 50 visits to the continent during my Prime Minister and presidency. Every time I came here, I had the opportunity to see the rich culture of Africa, the sincerity of its people, the strength of spirit of our African brothers and sisters even in poverty, the joy of life of African children with flowers on smiling faces.

I have seen from my own experience how true the following statement of my African interlocutors is. Yes, having been to Africa once, he always wanted to go there. We have never been able to tear ourselves away from Africa, from our African brothers and sisters, from the fascinating atmosphere of the continent. In addition, we were lucky enough to receive friendly heads of State and Government from all over the continent in our country."

Stating that the number of embassies in Africa has increased to 44, President Erdogan continued: "We are also proud to host the ambassadors of 38 African countries in Ankara. The number of our sales consultants will soon reach 31. We have established business councils with 48 African countries. The number of countries with which we have concluded agreements on trade and economic cooperation has reached 48. The number of countries with mutual encouragement and protection of investments has increased to 32. We are very pleased to note that our relations with Africa are developing day by day in all spheres – from trade to investment, from culture to education. According to our assessment, the free trade zone on the African continent will create important opportunities in terms of trade and investment in the coming period."

Noting that he would like to share some figures to show the overall success, President Erdogan said: "Our trade volume with the continent, which in 2003 amounted to 5.4 billion dollars, as of the end of last year approached 41 billion dollars. The total volume of our direct investments in Africa has exceeded $10 billion. Our companies undertake very important tasks to eliminate the shortcomings of infrastructure and superstructure in Africa, doing business in various fields – from energy to construction, from agriculture to household appliances and food. Our companies contribute to employment and production in African countries by meeting most of their labor needs locally."


Stating that more than 100,000 African workers have access to employment opportunities thanks to Turkish investors, President Erdogan continued: "The total cost of projects implemented by Turkish contractors across the continent has exceeded $85.5 billion. During our visits, we encounter roads, stadiums, airports and factories built by Turkish companies together with their African partners. Our interlocutors express their happiness to work in our companies at every opportunity. As the President of Turkey, I welcome the fact that our companies are so called on the continent. Operating flights to 41 countries and 62 destinations across the continent, Turkish Airlines connects our African brothers and sisters with other geographical regions. In addition, agriculture, transport, manufacturing and energy are of interest to our investors as key areas of development of the continent."

Stating that the defense industry is among the sectors in which Turkey has made the biggest breakthrough in recent years, President Erdogan said: "We are among the top three countries in the world for unmanned aerial vehicles. We are transferring the momentum we achieved with Akinci to the next league with Kyzylelma. In the field of warship technology, we are among the 10 countries that can design, develop, build and maintain their own ships. Under the slogan that peace and security are the basic conditions for development, we are ready to share our experience in this area with our African brothers and sisters."


Stressing that they consider the success of the African geography to be their own success, President Erdogan said: "From the very beginning we fully supported the membership of the African Union in the G20. In this context, we welcomed the entry of the African Union at the last summit of the Group of Twenty, held in New Delhi. I would like to congratulate my dear brother, President of the Union of Comoros Assoumani Azali, on this distinguished membership, which took place during his presidency. I want everyone to know that we will make every possible contribution to ensure that the African continent takes its rightful place in the global system.


Stating that, unfortunately, they have witnessed sad events on a global and regional scale, President Erdogan said: "I attach importance to the initiative initiated by some African leaders to put an end to the war between Ukraine and Russia by peaceful means. We have been working for peace since the first day of the war. With the help of the Black Sea Initiative, we have prevented a further deepening of the food crisis. During the implementation of the initiative, we have ensured the safe transportation of 33 million tons of grain through our straits. However, despite all our sincere efforts, we know that our African brothers and sisters are not getting the grain in the quantity we would like. We have repeatedly conveyed our concerns about this to our interlocutors."

Noting that old colonial habits also played a role here, President Erdogan said: "The sufferings of our African brothers and sisters were not properly taken into account by the rich countries of the West. We attach particular importance to a more equitable and efficient distribution of grain to African countries. We know that the concern of some African countries has increased due to the non-renewal of the Black Sea Initiative. In our contacts with the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, we have assessed and are assessing what we can do to solve these problems. Our negotiations are continuing on the supply of one million tons of grain to the continent at the first stage. At the first stage, we are negotiating the supply of one million tons of grain to the continent. I hope that we will get positive results from this work."


Saying that the events between Israel and Palestine have deeply shocked everyone, while the negative consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian war are being felt, President Erdogan expressed concern about the possibility of further escalation of tension and its spread to the region.

President Erdogan said: "I openly say that we do not accept and will never accept such attacks as the bombing of mosques, hospitals and civilian settlements. It is known that the blockade, which worsens the humanitarian situation in Gaza, has put the region in a sensitive situation open to provocations. Cutting off electricity, water, fuel and food for two million people trapped in 360 square kilometers is a violation of the most basic human rights. "The mass punishment of Gazans will only worsen the problem, cause even more pain, more tension, more tears."

Stressing that the Israeli administration should allow humanitarian aid through the Rafah checkpoint, President Erdogan said: "This morning we sent a plane with humanitarian aid to El-Arish airport with medicines, durable food, canned food, diapers, water and medical supplies. Our plane, which delivered the first aid cargo, which was transferred to the region from the beginning of the clashes, landed at the airport today at 12 o'clock."