By Mustapha K Darboe
Turkey on Monday donated military equipment to Gambia at latter’s military headquarters in the capital Banjul.
Among the donated items were 5,000 sets of uniforms, 1,359 cartridges and belts, 5,000 water bottles, 50 five-man tents and 50 20-man tents.
Maj. Gen. Yankuba Drammeh, Gambia’s deputy chief of staff, said the donated items will enhance the operational readiness of the Gambian forces.
“This is not the first time we have received gifts from the Turkish government and the Turkish Armed Forces […] The gesture spans three decades and the relations is characterized by mutual trust, understanding and high sense of cooperation between our two armed forces and […] two governments […],” Drammeh said.
“It [donation] comes at a time when the armed forces is going through some transformation and these will enhance our operational readiness,” he added.
Turkish and Gambian militaries established relations in 1980s. In recent years, about 1,500 Gambian military officials received training in Turkey.
Ismail Sefa Yuceer, the Turkish ambassador to Gambia, said Turkey is committed to intensifying its support to the Gambia Armed Forces in the areas of training and logistic support.
“Within this framework every year, Turkey will provide Gambia Armed Forces with logistics assistance with the exceptions of arms,” Yuceer said.