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Turkey's first lady to roll out new book on visits to Africa

Turkish President's wife Emine Erdogan on July 12, 2018 [RICCARDO PAREGGIANI/AFP via Getty Images]
Turkish President's wife Emine Erdogan on July 12, 2018 [RICCARDO PAREGGIANI/AFP via Getty Images]

Turkey's first lady this Monday will introduce her book on her travels in Africa for the first time at the Turkish House in New York, reports Anadolu Agency.

Emine Erdogan, who wrote about her impressions and memories of her travels to Africa, is flying with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to New York on Sunday to attend the UN General Assembly.

She will introduce her book "My Travels to Africa" for the first time to spouses of country leaders, the UN and other international representatives, as well as representatives of NGOs and foreign mission chiefs.

The book, which is dedicated to Emine Erdogan's mother, covers the first lady's visits from 2014 to 2020 to 23 countries, including Algeria, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Senegal.

The book will go on sale in Turkey at the beginning of October, and will also be published in English, French, Arabic, and Swahili ​​by international publishers.

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Before the "African Initiative" led by Turkey in 2005, she said Africa was a distant continent for many in Turkey. When Africa is mentioned, "colonialism, poverty, and hungry, thirsty children" came to mind, she said.

Africa also meant a photo album in which the shame of humanity "brought rewards to its owner. This situation changed forever with my first trip to Africa," she said, adding that she accompanies her husband on foreign visits as much as possible.

"I pay particular attention to the problems of African women and children, and I want to be a bit of a balm for their open wounds. This desire of mine is a gift from my nation, in which I was born and grew up, who raised me, shaped me, and embroidered this culture in my bones," she added.

She expressed hope that this book will lead to goodness, cooperation, and better cross-cultural understanding, and strengthen the bridges of friendship between Turkey and Africa.

She also underlined that before each visit, she studies the human, cultural, and social characteristics of the countries they are due to see.

The first lady often visits orphanages during her travels and said she was deeply affected by her 2015 visit to the Daryel Orphanage in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti.

"It is our duty to lessen the load of this heavy burden placed on those tiny shoulders and embrace them," she said.

"To understand the state of humanity, one needs to witness it. For me, travelling abroad means witnessing such experiences and remembering one's responsibilities," she writes in the book.

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