Construction by three Turkish firms of a new $10-million airport terminal in Somalia and a 23-kilometer road connecting it to the capital city, Mogadishu, will continue to completion despite a deadly late-July embassy attack by a militant group linked to al-Qaeda.
The July 27 attack on the Turkish embassy building in Mogadishu, which left one Turkish guard dead and three others seriously injured, has injected some uncertainty into protective measures that were agreed upon at a conference on Somalia. The conference, held in London in May, sought to assure investors and infrastructure companies that there would be calm in the war-ravaged country.
Turkey immediatedly issued a statement that indicated the country, which has poured an estimated $400 million in aid into Somalia, was aware the attack “may have been intended to undermine Turkey’s Somalia policy.”
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, “Some terror elements are displeased by the normalization in Somalia.”
Although the terror attack targeted Turkish interests, the message from the al-Shabaab militants was that they will not spare any company or country working with Somalia to rehabilitate infrastructure that is in shambles after more than 22 years of civil strife.
Turks Keep Commitment
The militants struck just hours after Turkey and Somalia had signed an agreement for the road linking Aden Abdulle International Airport, where construction of the new terminal is ongoing, to an area north of the capital.
Developers Cetin Group and Kozuva are building the new terminal, and the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), an arm of the government, is leading road construction. The two projects' schedules could not be immediately confirmed. Cetin Group and TIKA did not respond to requests for comment on the security threats and allegations of high-level corruption among top Somalia government officials.
The new terminal, which will replace the current one, will handle 1.8 million passengers a year. Cetin Group and Kozuva have also signed a renewable 10-year build-operate-transfer agreement.
Al-Shabaab spokesman Mohamud Rage accused Turkey of “bolstering the apostate regime and attempting to suppress the establishment of Islamic Shariah.”