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'Turkey rejects Orientalist approaches towards African continent'

October 18, 2021 at 8:19 pm

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) is being welcomed by Angolan President Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco (R) in Luanda, Angola on October 18, 2021 [Doğukan Keskinkılıç/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing the General Assembly of Angola’s Parliament on Monday, stressed that his country rejects ‘West-centered orientalist approaches’ towards the African continent, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We embrace the peoples of the African continent without any discrimination,” Erdogan noted.

Turkey’s relations with peoples of Africa go back to the 10th century, Erdogan said, adding: “The most important feature of our common history is that it is based on mutual respect, sincerity, cooperation and brotherhood.”

“We are a nation that does not have the stain of colonialism and the shame of colonialism in its history,” he stressed.

“Besides, we are a country that waged the War of Independence that ended with victory a century ago against the imperialist powers of the time,” he added.

READ: Erdogan to begin diplomacy tour to 3 African countries on Sunday

Stressing “injustices in the global system,” Erdogan, once again, underlined that “The World is Bigger Than Five,” and added: “Fate of humanity should not be left to the mercy of a handful of countries that won World War II.”

“While the world and almost every aspect of our lives are changing, and diplomacy, trade and international relations are going through radical transformations, we cannot think that the global security architecture will remain the same,” he added.

Ignoring the demands for change is unfair, Erdogan said, and continued: “We witness the same picture in the approach of some colonial powers towards the African continent.”

“There are some who still cannot accept African people’s achievements of independence, freedom, and equality by sacrificing millions of their children. We have witnessed that recently,” he noted.

“These countries need to get rid of the charm of their bloody history and face the realities of today,” added Erdogan.

 Relations with Angola

Underlining that the parliaments are indispensable elements of democracy, Erdogan said Turkey’s parliament continued to work devotedly and tirelessly since its establishment in 1920, and even during the 15 July coup attempt in 2016.

“It (Turkey’s parliament) showed, once again, that it is the guarantee of the Turkish democracy,” he recalled.

Stressing the importance of expanding the diplomatic network across the continent, Erdogan said Turkey currently has 43 embassies in Africa, while the number of African countries that have embassies in Ankara has reached 37.

Turkey attaches great importance to the expansion of the diplomatic network, Erdogan noted, saying: “Turkey is aware of the significance of Africa.”

“Angola is a great, powerful, and honorable country with a population of 33 million with its dynamic economy, hard-working people, and visionary political leadership,” he also said.

READ: Turkey aims long term relations with Africa, Erdogan says

In bilateral relations, Turkey never accepts an equation in which one side wins and the other loses, Erdogan, said, noting: “Our aim is to win together, to develop together, to grow together and to walk the path together.”

Stressing the need to expand the travel volume between the two countries, Erdogan shared his hopes that the $500 million trade volume target will be reached in a short time.

Erdogan arrived in Angola on Sunday, the first destination of his four-day tour of Africa, and will later travel to Nigeria and Togo.

Erdogan’s visit to Angola and Togo will be the first presidential-level visits from Turkey to these countries.