More details about Turkey’s first military facility in Somalia emerged Thursday with the construction firm behind the project confirming the base will be able to train hundreds of local soldiers and will occupy 400 hectares and house three military schools, dormitories and depots.
Istanbul Mogadishu General Construction Company Director Ebubekir Şahin told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the $50 million base will open near the Somali capital Mogadishu in Jan. 2017.
The facility, whose construction began in March 2015, will be used to train troops from Somalia and other African countries, Sahin said. It will have the capacity to train 500 soldiers at a time.
Şahin said the facility would be located close to Mogadishu’s airport, the Port of Mogadishu and three kilometers (1.8 miles) from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Hospital.
In recent decades, Somalia has enjoyed multi-tiered cooperation with Turkey.
On June 3 of this year, President Erdogan visited Somalia as the last leg of a three-nation East Africa tour during which he inaugurated Turkey’s largest embassy in Africa.
Turkey provides Somalia with military aid, educational support, infrastructural development and skills training.
Though challenged by threats from the al-Shabaab militant group, droughts and run-down infrastructure due to long periods of war, Somalia is striving to restore law and order as well as secure development.
A democratic election, having already been postponed once, is scheduled for later this year.