Turkiye, Economy, Africa

Turkey's president seeks to boost ties with Madagascar

President Erdogan's trip to Madagascar marks first presidential-level visit to Africa's island nation

Felix Nkambeh Tih, Ahmet Sait Akçay   | 25.01.2017
Turkey's president seeks to boost ties with Madagascar Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Antananarivo, Madagascar on January 25, 2017. ( Kayhan Özer - Anadolu Agency )


By Enes Kaplan and Ilhan Toprak


Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called on Turkish businesses to make further investments in Africa’s largest island, Madagascar.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Malagasy counterpart Hery Rajaonarimampianina in the capital city, Antananarivo, Erdogan called on Turkish entrepreneurs and investors to contribute to Madagascar’s "2015-2020 National Development Project" in diverse areas.

 "I believe our [Turkish] entrepreneurs and investors can do a lot of things in Madagascar and do it in a 'win-win' manner," he said, pointing out the "serious opportunities in tourism, mining, agriculture, seafood and construction".

 "Especially due to the water resources [on the island], serious steps can be taken to meet Madagascar’s energy needs by building hydroelectric plants," he said.

  Turkey and Madagascar signed earlier on Wednesday four agreements on diplomacy, economy and aid as part of Erdogan's last stop in his three-country African tour, marking the first ever visit to the southeastern island by a Turkish president.

 The Turkish president also warned Madagascar against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which Ankara holds responsible for the July 15 attempted coup that martyred at least 248 people and wounded around 2,200 others. 

 "We have been through a coup attempt, do not let the same thing happen to you."

 Malagasy president, for his part, expressed Madagascar's solidarity with Turkey in its fight against terror.

 "We have to fight against terrorism wherever it is. We must fight it even though we are not directly affected by terrorism, and we have to do it wisely," Rajaonarimampianina said.

 He also suggested he would co-operate with Turkey in the closing of FETO-linked schools operating in the country.

 "We are on your side when fighting against enemies."

 At a ceremony held at the presidential palace later on Wednesday evening, Rajaonarimampianina conferred the high state medal on Erdogan.

President Erdogan's spouse Emine Erdogan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak were present at the ceremony alongside a number of senior Malagasy officials.

In addition to the defeated coup attempt, Ankara has also said FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

 The terrorist group is also known for its network of hundreds of schools around the world.

 So far, over 80 FETO organizations operating abroad, including schools and training centers, have been shut down or transferred to the Turkish government.

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