Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s upcoming visit to Sudan on Sunday will be “historic”, the Turkish ambassador to Khartoum said.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Dr. Irfan Neziroğlu, Turkish Ambassador to Sudan, said Erdogan’s upcoming visit, which will be the first of its kind since he became president, is part of an African tour that also includes Chad and Tunisia.
The visit will play a “remarkable role” in boosting the political and economic ties between the two countries, Neziroglu said.
“We are hoping big developments in bilateral cooperation between Sudan and Turkey. Both sides have great expectations from this visit,” the ambassador stated.
He said the leaders of the two countries will hold a summit to discuss the regional developments in the Middle East, especially the escalation in the Palestinian territories after the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Neziroglu noted that nine Turkish ministers will be accompanying the Turkish president.
He said many economic agreements will be signed during the visit to boost the trade relations between the two countries, noting that the current trade balance between the two sides has exceeded $500 million.
“During the visit of the president when he was prime minister in 2006, the trade volume between our two countries was $150 million… and now it’s more than $500 million,” he underscored.
– FETO-linked schools
“The economic agreements will cover wide fields including agriculture, mining, tourism, education and other economic sectors,” the envoy added.
He commended the Sudanese government’s decision to hand over Fetullah Terrorist Organization- (FETO) linked schools to the Turkish educational foundation, in line with a protocol signed earlier between Khartoum and Ankara.
He stated that the two schools in Sudan have been smoothly transferred to the Turkey’s Maarif Foundation, adding the demand for Turkish schools has increased recently.
“There is a very high demand for the Turkish schools. We probably think about opening new schools,” the ambassador said.
The Maarif Foundation was established after the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey to take over the administration of overseas schools linked to FETO. It also establishes schools and education centers abroad.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
FETO also has a considerable presence outside Turkey, including private educational institutions that serve as a revenue stream for the terrorist group.