MOGADISHU, Somalia-Somalia’s new prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble on Monday appointed Abdulkadir Muhammad Nur, a Turkish university graduate, as justice minister in his newly announced Cabinet.
Nur holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Ankara University, and has also worked as a diplomat at the Somali embassy in Turkey.
Besides knowing Somali and English, he is fluent in Turkish as well.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview, Nur said the two countries relations rested on a “moral basis.”
“The relationship between our countries has a moral basis. Turkey’s place in Somalia has never been a political one. The relationship between the two countries has never been based on benefits or rewards,” he said.
Nur underlined that the turning point for Turkey-Somalia relations was on Aug. 19 2011, when then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the war-torn Horn of Africa nation with his wife and a large delegation.
Since 2011, Turkey has made a concentrated effort to provide the Somali people with basic needs, including security, education, health, institutional capacity-building, roads, ports, airports, fisheries and energy.
Many Somali students are now studying in Turkey, Nur said. “It wouldn’t be a lie to say that Turkish has become the second language of Somalia.”
In an earlier tweet, he thanked President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and the premier for “choosing him to lead the Ministry of Justice and serve the people of Somalia.”
“He also thanked Anadolu Agency for standing by Somalia and making the voice of the country be heard across the world.
The former senior adviser to the speaker of the lower house of parliament is active in joint Somali-Turkish initiatives, and promotes the bilateral relationship, especially on social media.
In April, he donated a month’s worth of his salary to a fundraising campaign launched by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the fight against coronavirus.
Turkey, under the ruling AK Party government, has reached out to many African countries, supporting them in health and education sectors, among others.
The new Somali Cabinet was formed after intense consultations with academics, intellectuals and dignitaries.
Roble gave priority to youth and women in the council that consists of a deputy prime minister, 26 ministers, 26 deputy ministers and 17 state ministers.
Last month, Farmaajo appointed Roble after the parliament ousted Hassan Ali Khayre, his predecessor.
He will have a brief mandate, as the Horn of African country’s presidential and parliamentary elections are looming.
*Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara.