Somali President visits Turkey as figures reveal Turkey top contributor
Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has arrived in Turkey at a time when Turkey has contributed a higher percent of its national income to Somalia than any other country, as it tries to maintain efforts to help Somalia recover from its worst draught in 60 years. Ahmed, who frequently holds talks with Turkish officials who oversee arrangements to channel both Turkish and international aid to the country, visited President Abdullah Gul in Istanbul yesterday morning to discuss the current situation in the famine-stricken country, as he came to Turkey to attend a Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC). Ties between Turkey and Somalia were strengthened over the summer, when the country rose as one of the first to run to the aid of Somalis suffering from hunger and disease stemming from a lack of basic resources. According to the latest evaluation by the Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD), Turkish aid collected through campaigns launched by AFAD, the Religious Affairs Directorate and other organizations has surpassed TL 500 million, the Anatolia news agency reported on Thursday. This total carried Turkey to the top of the list of countries that provided aid to Somalia when looking at the amount in aid compared to the countries' national income. Turkey also provides scholarships for a few hundred Somali students to come and study in Turkey.