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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Turkey consoles Kenya after al Shabaab attacks, pledges joint war

Turkish Ambassador to Kenya Deniz Eke (c) with other officials during a meeting in Nairobi on July 15, 2017. /SAM KISIKA
Turkish Ambassador to Kenya Deniz Eke (c) with other officials during a meeting in Nairobi on July 15, 2017. /SAM KISIKA

Turkey has declared it will stand with Kenyan in tackling al Shabaab militants and overcoming terror activities threatening the nation's prosperity.

Ambassador Deniz Eke expressed optimism that Kenya will conquer terrorism and continue prospering in unity, economy and democracy.

"We express our heartfelt condolences and support to our Kenyan friends following the recent terrorist attacks. Enhanced and unconditional cooperation and solidarity are key in the fight against terror, whichever sinister methods terrorists may adopt," Eke said on Saturday.

On this day last year, her country experienced a failed coup.

KDF soldiers last Thursday rescued Public Works PS Mariam El-Maawy from abduction by al Shabaab in Lamu following an ambush on her entourage at Milihoi on Lamu-MPeketoni highway.

The militants injured El-Maawy and killed four people including her nephew, bodyguards and driver. They were on their way from a Lapsset function.

Read: Maawy stable after al Shabaab attack, outlines Lapsset spatial plans

Also read: Time to rethink strategy against al Shabaab after recent events

Eke raised concern that terrorism has become more complex due to structures militants have put in place such as chains of command and resource mobilisation.

"They can easily act solo, posing as drivers, as in the recent attacks in Europe. They can use a combination of insurgency and radicalisation tactics like al Shabaab is trying to achieve in Kenya," she noted.

"Alternatively, they can take the form of a worldwide network of schools, businesses and non-profit organisations presenting themselves as pro-peace movements but actually engaging in illegal activities by infiltrating critical state institutions, as is the case with Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization."

The Ambassador insisted that use of novel techniques and weapons are necessary in dealing with the new, non-uniform and unconventional face of terrorism.

She added Turkey is also committed to fighting terrorists by observing three key lawful elements militants dislike most - rule of law, morality and democracy.

"July 15, 2016 was a very extraordinary situation where Turkey was hit by a terrorist coup plot, reminding us once again that terrorism has changed its face and evolved into an asymmetric warfare which must be confronted in all its forms and manifestations."

Eke pointed out that the two nations' bilateral relations have continued to deepen since the start of their diplomatic relations 50 years ago. Turkey's embassy in Kenya is the oldest in Africa.

"Today, our countries are much better engaged politically and better connected economically. On major global issues, the refugee crisis, fighting terrorism and radicalisation, we look eye-to-eye, and have an excellent potential to cooperate at bilateral and multilateral fora," Eke said.

Turkey's official development agency, TIKA, has helped Kenya by implementing about 50 multi-million-shilling projects in health, education, agriculture, women empowerment and anti-radicalisation across the country.

"More and more of our businesses are coming to Kenya, investing and joining hands with local businesses. Three major Turkish brands in furniture and textiles started their flagship operations in Nairobi with a strategic investment vision in the first half of this year. The future of our relations is even brighter," she said.

Turkey's renown firm also launched the first Private-Public Partnership project with Kenya in medicine while a Turkish investor is finalising a deal for cotton production.

Eke recognised efforts citizens, security forces and media put to foil the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization coup in commemorating Turkey's '15 July Democracy and National Unity Day.'

A small group of soldiers within the Turkish military linked to the insurgent terrorists orchestrated the coup that claimed 250 lives both civilians and soldiers while more than 2,000 were seriously injured.

The group used military weaponry including fighter jets to bomb state buildings and randomly shoot protesting civilians opposed to the coup, and military officers who refused to join the ploy.

It bombed the Turkish Parliament, the Presidential Compound, the National Intelligence and the Special Forces headquarters to subdue resistance.

The terrorists also attempted to assassinate President Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

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