Turkey: Deputy PM to travel to Mogadishu in first Turkish Airlines flight

Posted on 5th March 2012 in News

Monday, March 05, 2012

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ will be in Somalia on Tuesday to mark the official opening of Turkish-built facilities in Mogadishu. He is scheduled to fly on Monday night on the first flight of Turkish Airlines (THY) to the Somali capital. THY earlier announced that it would add Mogadishu to its growing network, operating twice weekly via Khartoum.

Bozdağ, who is in charge of coordinating Turkish aid to famine-struck Somalia, will lead the opening ceremonies for a fountain set up by Turkish Aid and Development Agency (TİKA), the Şifa Hospital built by Yeryüzü Doktorları Derneği (Association of the World’s Doctors), a public bazaar built by Turkish charity Kimse Yok Mu (Is Anybody There) and a government service building and fountain constructed by the İstanbul Greater Municipality.

The Turkish deputy prime minister will also have talks with Somali officials and will return to Turkey on Tuesday night. TİKA head Serdar Çam, the Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) head, Fuat Oktay, and THY General Manager Temel Kotil will also be accompanying Bozdağ. THY scheduled flights depart on Tuesday and Thursday from its İstanbul hub, Atatürk Airport, and return from Mogadishu on Wednesday and Friday. Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines currently flies to 189 destinations, including 149 international and 40 domestic lines and with joining the Mogadishu flights to its flight network, the airline will reach 190 destinations worldwide.

Turkey has sent $365 million (TL 640 million) in cash and in-kind aid to Somalia over the past year, according to AFAD. Famine killed 29,000 children in Somalia last year, and Turkey has spearheaded efforts to send aid to the drought-stricken country and its similarly afflicted neighbors.
Bozdağ’s near accident in Kayseri

Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ almost hit a child while driving a snowmobile over the weekend in Kayseri. Bozdağ and Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz rode a snowmobile after receiving instructions on how to operate it. On his first attempt to drive the vehicle, however, Bozdağ accidentally put it into reverse, nearly hitting a child that was standing by. Onlookers managed to pull the child out of the way of the snowmobile and Bozdağ hit the brake on the vehicle.

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