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Dossier: Sudanese Turkish Relations…. two

2017-12-23 05:23:00 PM

Khartoum, 23 Dec (SUNA)- The Sudan news agency SUNA continues to publish economic and trade cooperation between Sudan and Turkey, reflecting on the reasons behind the success and areas of interests. Following are continuations of the initiative take following the reception.

The Justice and Development, Party which is known for its Islamic orientation, is the Ruling Party in Turkey, since 2002.

The party is dominating the government and enjoying an overwhelming majority in Parliament and assuming the position of the President of the Republic since the year 2007 when its leader Abdullah Gül won in the elections that put him in Cankaya Palace for seven years.

He actually paved the way for the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyib Erdogan, who was able to win in all the elections campaigns throughout the past 12 years, parliamentary, local or direct people's referendum alike. He was finally voted President of the Republic in direct elections.

Erdogan has fought a fierce political battle that ended by repeating the elections of June, 2015 once again in November 2015 enabling the Justice and Development Party to assume the leading position.

The aborted coup attempt of July, 2016 was aimed to overthrow President Erdogan and to topple his government. |However, the stand of the Turkish government alongside its political leadership contributed to aborting the coup in just a few hours. Erdogan restored his political powers and his popularity has greatly increased.

He immediately began taking action to remove his opponents and their allied from the ministries and the government, economic and educational institutions, especially those who affiliated to Fathallah Kulen Organization.

Turkey is now playing a major role in Syria and Iraq in line with a strategy that aims to protect it interests, security and stability on the light of the pending regional and international disputes at the region.

Sudan and Turkey are maintaining deeply-rooted and fruitful relations.
Turkey has lately begun showing increasing interest in its relations with the Sudan.

This could be clearly seen in the signing of an agreement in the year 2014 to encourage exchange of investment, the signing of a memo of understanding in the field of free trade zones' establishment toward setting up a firm infrastructure that is conducive to strengthening the economic relations between the two countries.

This will also reaffirm to the two sides the importance of increasing the mutual exports. These agreements have paved the way for arrival of Turkish investors to operate in Sudan and the establishment of joint ventures in Sudan.

The Turkish interests with Sudan have not been distant from the joint history between the two peoples. The two nations are linked to each other by strong fraternal ties that are based on the common religion and joint history. The single difference of the language has never been a barrier for establishing firm fraternal relations between them.

Roots of relations and cooperation between Turkey and Sudan have extended to around 450 years as these relations started in the year 1555 when the Ottomans established Swaken town as a province in east Sudan.

The Turks had a clear influence in many areas of life in Sudan such as agriculture, crafts, health, medical services, transport and the regular forces, while the diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1981.

Relations between Sudan and Turkey witnessed remarkable progress after the Justice and Development won the 2002 elections. Furthermore the two sides have shown strong desire to strengthen relations, especially that Sudan is qualified to be a center of many Turkish investors. Sudan is also producer of 90% of the world's gum Arabic.

It also sits on huge oil, gas and agricultural and livestock products resources. The Turkish companies recognized that they can engage in joint venture with the Sudanese counterparts, a matter that requires building economic integration bases.

To that end the two countries are for the establishment of research institutions that can study the means for establishing and easing the work of finance institutions that will fund projects via transfers and opening braches of the Turkish banks in Sudan as well as branches of the Sudanese banks in Turkey, the establishment of joint Sudanese - Turkish banks for facilitating work of the investors.

The first attempt to strengthen cooperation between Sudan and Turkey began by formation of a committee at the ministerial level with the task of spurring economic agreements between the two countries.

This committee meets regularly. A number of agreements were signed during the mandate of this committee in the agriculture technical, education, scientific cooperation, transport, mining, minerals and electricity fields. The joint committee has recommended removing customs barriers, facilitating trade and the transportation of commodities as well as agreement on the protection and encouragement of joint investment.

Most researchers stated that the Sudanese - Turkish relations are witnessing development and are progressing. The volume of the trade between Sudan and Turkey is set to increase to three billion dollars in the coming two years through establishment of a joint trade grouping.

The University of Africa has organized a symposium on the Turkish - Sudanese relations and horizons of reinforcing them in the political, economic and cultural fields.

The symposium has recommended indigenization of the Turkish experiences in the agricultural field in Sudan, the exchange of experiences, establishment of free trade zone at strategic areas in Sudan, e.g Port-Sudan.

The gathering recommended expanding the scopes of the cultural and educational exchange, especially in the field of the Turkish and Arabic languages and establishment of a Sudanese - Turkish cultural center.
It stressed that the Turkish investments should focus on the gold, oil and gas fields, support of the private sector, the signing of academic agreements on provision of scholarships for students and lecturers in the two countries. It also recommended holding more symposiums for strengthening bilateral relations, provided that the professional sectors in the two countries are to assume the task of implementing these agreements.

The symposium discussed a number of studies which were presented by academicians from the two countries, including a paper by Fathiya Omer, of the Sudanese Knowledge Centre under the title:- " Economic changes and their impact the Sudanese relations".

The paper referred to the Turkish interest in the Sudan which has become evident, especially in the fields of health, educational and infrastructures' establishments in general. The writer also pointed to the existence of a large minerals reserve that has rendered Sudan and Africa as the focus from the super powers. The researcher recommended a bigger role which is to be played by Turkey in Sudan and Africa.

Prof. Mohamed Abdul-Gadir of the International Africa University stated in his paper that economic relations between Sudan and Turkey have not witnessed any remarkable progress since Independence despite the existence of several factors were supposed to result in increase of the economic cooperation, top of these factors were the blockade imposed by the United States and some European countries, a matter that motivated Sudan to seek other partners, despite the fact that Turkey has been qualified to play this role.

The researcher indicated that economic cooperation between the two countries is below the required level, explaining that the future would witness progress due to existence of a real will at both sides.

He said that integration between the two sides necessitates removing all aspects of bureaucracy, complication of the procedure for the investors and that Sudan government shall provide more facilities for the Turkish investors in the agricultural and industrial fields with concentration on the agricultural processing.

The volume of the economic exchange between Sudan and Turkey, according to the last statistic in the year 2014, has reached more than 500 million dollars. The activities of the Turkish businessmen have included the infrastructures and enhancing them, manufacturing and iron steel. The number of the Turkish companies operating in Sudan has amounted to 480 companies.

A memo of understanding was also signed during a visit- of Turkish delegation between the Red Sea State and the Turkish African Trade Group for establishing the industrial free zone at Square 24 in Thawra Area, northern area in Port-Sudan, at an area of three million square meters.

The first stage of the project: includes the establishment of construction and building industry, an electricity power station, a water station, waste processing station and furniture industry at an area of 800, 000 square meters toward providing the inputs for establishing the free zone project.

The second stage of the project: Includes the establishment of different food, petrochemical, plastic, building material, fodder, electricity equipment and water equipment for medical industries.
Other Turkish investments outside the free zone.

Mutual understanding was achieved with the Turkish Shahain Group for Investment for development of the Al-Raqaba Tourism Village at the coast, which is 45 kilometers far from Port-Sudan city as well as the establishment of tourism towns according to the investment map.

The Council for International People's Friendship (CIPF) has described the visit of the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyib Erdogan, to Sudan as an outstanding developments and an aspect of the great openness of Sudan to the world following the lifting of the US economic sanctions.