The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration,Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has held talks with the Turkish Speaker of Parliament, Mr Mustafa Sentop and some Turkish Members of Parliament (MPs) who are part of the Turkish Parliamentary Friendship Association.
The meeting, which came off last Monday, formed part of activities marking Ms Botchwey’s official visit to Turkey.
The discussions held during the meeting centered on strengthening relations between the Parliaments of Ghana and Turkey.
Speaking during the meeting with the Turkish Speaker of Parliament, the Foreign Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Anyaa Sowutuom, said relations between Ghana and Turkey, which date back to the 1960s, had remained strong and friendly over the decades.
According to her, the two countries share a lot of common values such as the practice of democratic governance with strong and thriving institutions such as Parliaments working to consolidate the gains made over the years since the two adopted multi-party democracy.
The Ghanaian Minister lauded the founders of the Ghana-Turkey Parliamentary Association, which was birthed on March 21, 2011, and underscored its importance as a mechanism to deepen relations between the two legislatures.
She reiterated that since its founding, there had been high-level exchanges between the two Parliaments with the recent visit to Turkey by a two-member Ghana Parliamentary delegation in February 2018, led by Mr Salihu Dandaawa Alhassan.
Ms Botchwey expressed the view that exchanges would enable the two institutions to exchange best parliamentary practices and to deepen their collaboration.
The Minister recalled that the Turkish President, Tayyip Reccep Erdogan, addressed Ghana’s Parliament during his official visit to the country in 2016, the first time a Turkish President addressed a Parliament in sub-Saharan Africa.
She noted that it was a testament to the deepening relations between not just the two institutions but more importantly, the two countries.
She seized the opportunity to call for exchanges between the two Speakers to each other’s country to strengthen ties and deepen knowledge sharing.
The minister also called for more collaborations between the Turkish and Ghanaian parliamentarians in order to further build their capacities, deliver optimally and help build a stronger institution for the benefit of their citizenry who they represented.
She indicated that Ghana would be going to the polls this year to elect a new President and parliamen Mr Mustafa Sentop that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government would ensure a free, fair, transparent and credible elections.
In a separate meeting with the President of the Turkish International Development Agency (TIKA), Serdar Cam, Ms Botchwey, on behalf of Ghana, thanked the Turkish government and, in particular, TIKA, for all the development assistance extended to Ghana over the years.
She mentioned, specifically, the support of TIKA in training: 10 officials of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing of Ghana in 2014; sponsorship of 10 midwives and two officials of the Ministry of Health for training in Turkey, in 2014; 10 young diplomats from Ghana at the Diplomatic Training Institute of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2014, and in 2018.
The Minister further commended TIKA for its work around the world and for extending needed development assistance to support other countries. She, however, called for TIKA offices to be established in Ghana to further strengthen the Ghana-Turkey relations.