The Ambassador of the Republic of Türkiye to Nigeria, Hidayet Bayraktar, said that Nigeria was a rising power in Africa due to its population and large economy.
The envoy said this at the celebration of the country’s 100th year anniversary on Friday in Abuja.
Mr Bayraktar said that Nigeria and Türkiye relations was established in 1960 and developed on the basis of friendship and mutual benefits.
He added that in strengthening both countries’ bilateral relations, both President Tayyip Erdoğan and former President Muhammadu Buhari paid mutual visits to each country in 2021.
“These reciprocal high-level visits provided the opportunity to underline our shared goal of strengthening our bilateral ties in every field.
“We sincerely believe that we will continue to build and reinforced our partnership with Nigerian government which was newly established after the election in February.
“The challenges Nigeria and its immediate region face today such as terrorism and organised crime, are not just local problems of the region, but subject to international concern,” Mr Bayraktar said.
According to him, Türkiye supports Nigeria in her fight against terrorism, climate change and is ready to undertake the necessary responsibility to contribute to Nigeria’s efforts to combat the menace.
Mr Bayraktar added, “Similarly, we expect from all our friendly and brotherly countries, including Nigeria, to show more solidarity in our fight against terrorist organisations.
“Besides the fight against terrorism, our bilateral trade and economic cooperation trend upwards. Furthermore, our cooperation in the field of defence industry is improving.”
He said that Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Badaru Abubakar, paid a visit to Türkiye this week and met with Yaşar Güler, the Minister of National Defence of Türkiye.
He said, “We are glad about the ongoing cooperation on T-129 ATAK helicopters and other deals in the field of defence industry.
“First of two Offshore Patrol Vessels constructed by Dearsan Shipyards for the Nigerian Navy was launched yesterday in Gebze, Türkiye.
“The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu, also attended and honoured this event.
“I am so happy to inform you that the delivery of the first batch of T-129 ATAK helicopters are planned to be handed over next week. We also have a model of said helicopter.
“Turkish aerospace company was kind enough to send this model to our Embassy for exhibition, which Turkish investors are showing growing interest in Nigeria.”
Mr Bayraktar said that there were more than one hundred Turkish companies operating in Nigeria, providing jobs and contributing to the economy of Nigeria.
He added that Turkish Airlines flies to Abuja and Lagos nine times a week.
“We attach utmost importance to the cultural, educational and humane dimensions of our relations. In our country, last year 3,669 Nigerian students were studying in higher educational institutions.
“Some of these students benefit from the scholarship our government grants every year to foreign students studying in Türkiye,” he said.