A senior Turkish diplomat praised relations between Turkey and African countries on Monday, which marks Africa Day, the anniversary of the foundation of the African Union.  

“Our embassies, operating in 42 countries of the African continent, are working hard,” said Nur Sagman, deputy general director for Africa at the Turkish Foreign Ministry. 

Sagman described Turkey’s policy towards Africa as “effective, beneficial and most importantly sincere for this continent.” 

Africa Day is the annual commemoration of May 25, 1963, the day the African Union was founded. 

Sagman also praised Turkish institutions such as Turkish Red Crescent, Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) for their operations on the continent. 

The Turkish diplomat also said that a planned Africa-Turkey Partnership Summit to be held in 2021 was expected to become a “cornerstone” for ties between Turkey and the continent. 

On Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that solidarity with Africa was more essential than ever as the world struggles with the novel coronavirus.  

‘Friend of Turkey’ African music icon Mory Kante 

Sagman, the former Turkish ambassador in Guinea, also commemorated African music icon Mory Kante, who died on May 22 at the age of 70. 

Kante helped bring African music to world audiences with hits like Yeke Yeke. 

Sagman said that Kante was a “friend of Turkey” and represented his country and Africa in the best way all over the world. 

“When I was working in Guinea, he attended every event of our Embassy,” she added. 

Kante’s hit Yeke Yeke was the first-ever African single to sell over one million copies. 

In 2001, Kante was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

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