He said: “I am here in Banjul to improve our brotherly and friendly bilateral ties between Banjul and Ankara which stand on three core pillars: political, economic and cultural development. There is no difference between the Islamic ummah of Turkey and that of The Gambia. We are enjoying excellent political as well as economic relations. We have so many projects that we will be embarking upon, geared toward boosting the cultural ties of the two countries. Turkey is a big country with majority of citizens Muslims, and we are proud Muslims. Islam is a religion of peace and love. And as Muslims we must show the beautiful characteristics of Muslims to others.”
The chief Turkish diplomat in The Gambia made these remarks on Thursday while presenting a Turkish government’s donation of 10,000 copies of the Holy Qur’an to the executive committee of The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, for onward delivery to mosques and Islamic schools.
“The donation of this Holy Qur’an is the beginning of our longstanding relationship with The Gambia Supreme Islamic council and I am sure it will reach its rightful owners,” Ambassador Soner said.
“The Turkish embassy is your home – keep that in your mind. You can pass by anytime to discuss and share experience with us. We are open to your new ideas.”
Soner meanwhile asked the country’s Islamic council to pray for the departed souls of Turks who died last week in a mine disaster that claimed the lives of at least 300 people in the town of Soma.
Speaking at the presentation, the president of GSIC, Momodou Lamin Touray, extolled the Turkish government for the donation which he described as timely. “We pray to Allah, the Almighty to bless Turkey and her people for helping the Gambian people. These Holy Qur’an are presented to their right place because we have many mosques and Qur’anic schools that need the holy books.”
By Sainey M.K. Marenah]]>