Turkey calls on Somaliland to help crackdown on alleged ‘Gülen supporters’

Turkish Consular-General Ali Noyan at Somaliland's Presidential Palace in March of this year.

HARGEISA – Turkish Consul-General in Hargeisa, Ali Noyan, held a press conference in the capital on Saturday, to commemorate the one year anniversary of the failed coup against the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

During the press conference, Noyan recounted the events of July 15th, and the impact it had on the Turkish State. Towards the end of the press conference, Noyan called on the Government of the Republic of Somaliland to cooperate with Turkish Authorities on cracking down supporters of Fetullah Gullen, the alleged ‘mastermind’ of the coup.

Last year, Noyan’s predecessor, Muzaffer Yuksel, and senior Turkish officials asked Somaliland’s Foreign Ministry to close down the Turkish-based Nile Academy Schools in Hargeisa, accusing the educators of having ties to Fethullah Gullen. Foreign Minister Saad Ali Shire announced shortly afterward that Somaliland would not close down the schools, nor hand over the educators.

The request comes at a time where Turkey is being viewed unfavorably by many Somalilanders and is facing accusations of promoting a Greater Somalia agenda in Somaliland.

Just last month, Turkey sided with Somalia on the June 26h independence debate, congratulating them instead of Somaliland – which led many to call for the closure of the Turkish consulate.

There have also been several recent reports of a ‘Somali Integration Office’ established by the Turkish Embassy in Mogadishu, tasked with building a united Somali nation that would later serve as a Turkish ‘satellite state’. This reported plan by the Turkish Consulate is said to be part of the ruling AKP’s foreign policy, which is based on ‘Neo-Ottamanism’ – reviving the policies from the Ottoman Era.

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Somaliland’s Foreign Ministry hasn’t issued a response to Noyan’s request.

This is a developing story. Please check back at The National for more.

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