African Islamic Summit to be Held in Turkey

Turkey keeps close relations with countries that share its religion, culture or language. In addition to the Eurasian Islamic Summit, which has been organized for six years, Turkey will host the African Islamic Summit for the first time.

African Islamic Summit to be Held in Turkey

Organized by Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs, the summit will kick off on Nov. 1 and last for three days.

The opening speech of the summit, which will bring together leaders of Islamic countries in Africa, will be delivered by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

High-level religious leaders will be present at the international summit, which will take place in Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.

Deputy Director of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Mehmet Gormez stated that they placed great importance on this summit to be held for the first time with African countries.

The aim of the summit is to achieve a strategic unity.

The cooperative effort with the religious leaders and institutions of the Balkans, Caucasus and the Central-Asian republics of Turkish origin is planned to be expanded so as to embrace the African Muslim countries as well.

Africa Neglected

Speaking to Zaman about the summit Dr. Ahmet Dere, head of the Foreign Affairs Department in the Directorate of Religious Affairs, said that the directorate's Asian and European-oriented services had been over-emphasized and the African continent was somehow neglected.

"We are now attaching a lot more importance to Africa than in the past," he noted.

Representatives from NGOs and aid organizations have been invited due to the social and economic ordeal from which African countries have been suffering.

Reiterating the fact that Africa had very severe problems, Dere remarked: "It is impossible for our directorate to be of direct support to anyone. However, we arranged for our aid organizations to establish close relations with those countries in order to help them in any way possible. What we do is to see the problems for ourselves and help our organizations do whatever they can to help the situation."

Dere pointed out that Turkey had always maintained close historical and cultural ties with this region, but Asian and European-oriented relations gained more importance after the foundation of the republic.

Dere went on to say: "African countries demanded that Turkey care about them more. We are going to share our experience, religious knowledge and all that we have acquired so far. We'll inspect what has been done together and what else can be done together from now on. We are planning to form a perspective for the future."

Dere noted they would like to see all countries and communities that make up the African spectrum and said official, civil and corporate leaders were going to attend the summit.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16