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Muslim world targeted with plots like Jerusalem, Syria, Myanmar to benefit others, Erdoğan says



The Muslim world is the target of numerous plots to reshape it to the benefit of others, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Saturday.

Speaking at the 7th Hadith and Sira Studies Awards Ceremony in Istanbul, Erdoğan said “Just like a century ago, the Islamic world is facing efforts to reshape it through blood, tears, and strife between brothers.”

He called on people “to be prepared for attacks which will try to bring down Muslims from within.”

“When Muslims are at odds, the only ones that benefit from this are terrorist groups, imperialists, arms dealers and terror states like Israel,” he said.

He also said that all the incidents happening in Syria, Myanmar and Jerusalem were not coincidental but intentional, and they were aimed at draining Muslims’ sources and energy by making them fight among themselves.

Erdoğan also reiterated his condemnation of U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Following Trump’s announcement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a declaration recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

Erdoğan said the OIC move would create a multiplier effect, encouraging other nations to follow in its lead.

Somali News

Somalia, Turkey ink trade deals to boost bilateral ties



MOGADISHU, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) — Somalia said on Monday that it signed a raft of trade agreements with Turkey aimed at boosting an already thriving economic cooperation between the two countries.

Somali Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Ahmed Gulaid said he signed a cooperation protocol during the inaugural meeting of a Joint Economic Commission (JEC), noting that Mogadishu was open to foreign investment and ready to boost trade cooperation with all friendly countries.

“The agreements will also open Somali exports to Central Asian markets through the Turkish gateway as well as to contribute to the country’s economic recovery and to generate employment for the Somali youth,” Gulaid said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

He said the objective of the JEC is to translate the number of memorandums of understanding signed between the two countries into reality with immediate priority being to open Turkish markets for Somali products such as dry lemon, sesame and banana.

The deputy prime minister stressed that revitalizing the Horn of Africa country’s economy was one of the top priorities of the Somali government.

The two countries had previously signed trade agreements in areas such as energy, mines, electricity, higher education, agriculture, and fisheries.

Gulaid said Turkey’s investment in Somalia is more than 100 million U.S. dollars, predicting that the bilateral trade volume could rise to 200 million dollars from about 120 million dollars in 2016.

The two countries resolved to convene regular meetings to follow up on the implementation of the agreements and to bolster the strategic cooperation in the years to come.

“Apart from the historical relations between our countries, Turkey has become a very important ally for the Somali people and we are committed to consolidate these relations for the mutual benefit of our two countries,” Gulaid said.

He said trade ties will also open the gates for the Somali business community to have business-to-business deals with their Turkish counterparts and to participate in Turkish trade fairs.

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Plane dangles off cliff after skidding off runway in Turkey



ISTANBUL (AP) — A commercial plane that skidded off a runway after landing in northern Turkey dangled precariously off a muddy cliff with its nose only a few feet from the sea.

Some of the 168 people on board the Boeing 737-800 described it as a “miracle” that everyone was evacuated safely.

Images show the aircraft on its belly and at an acute angle just above the water. If it had slid any further along the slope, the plane would have likely plunged into the Black Sea in the Turkish province of Trabzon.

The incident late Saturday created panic among the 162 passengers on board Pegasus Airlines Flight PC8622. The six-member crew, including two pilots, was also evacuated and Pegasus said there were no injuries. Flights were suspended at Trabzon Airport for several hours after the incident before resuming again Sunday.

Passenger Yuksel Gordu told Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency that words weren’t enough to describe their fear.

“It’s a miracle we escaped. We could have burned, exploded, flown into the sea,” Gordu said. “Thank God for this. I feel like I’m going crazy when I think about it.”

Another passenger, Fatma Gordu, told private Dogan news agency that there was a loud sound after landing.

“We swerved all of a sudden,” she said. “The front of the plane crashed and the back was in the air. Everyone panicked.”

Trabzon Gov. Yucel Yavuz said that investigators were trying to determine why the plane had left the runway. The prosecutor’s office launched an investigation.

The flight originated in the capital, Ankara.

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Somali News

Turkey, Somalia sign economic partnership pact



Turkey and Somalia on Friday signed a pact to boost their strategic economic partnership.

“We wish to deepen relations with Somalia. Turkey’s investment in Somalia stands at over $100 million,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag told a signing ceremony alongside his Somali counterpart Mahdi Mohammed Gulaid.

“This figure forms a foundation to prompt bigger cooperation in the days to come.”

He predicted that the bilateral trade volume would rise to $200 million from about $120 million in 2016.

He spoke at the opening of a Turkey-Somalia Joint Economic Commission meeting in the capital Ankara co-chaired by himself and Gulaid.

Akdag added that both countries should carry through 2016 memorandums of understanding in such areas as energy, mines, electricity, higher education, agriculture, and maritime affairs.

He added an expected free trade agreement between the two countries would boost trade ties.

Gulaid, for his part, said the meeting would maintain bilateral economic ties and bolster strategic cooperation in the years to come.

The countries also inked a memorandum of understanding on fishing and fisheries, signed by Turkey’s Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmet Esref Fakibaba and Somali’s Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Abdirahman Mohamed Abdi Hashi.

“Now we have started work on the development of Somalia as well as [it] becoming a major economic power with the support of Turkey,” Hashi said following the signing ceremony, adding that the pact would be the beginning of numerous future cooperation deals between the two countries.

Under the deal, Turkish fishermen will be able to fish in Somalia’s territorial waters.

Turkey and Somalia have long enjoyed friendly relations, as Turkey has invested in many areas to help modernize Mogadishu, the capital of the Horn of Africa country.

Last September, Turkey opened its largest military training academy abroad in Somalia.

Located south of Mogadishu, the training facility took some two years to build.

The facility spans over 4 square kilometers (1.54 square miles), and can train more than 1,500 troops at a time, according to the Somali government.

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