Ankara covers up the escape of the Somali President’s Son, demanding clarifications 

A Turkish official confirms that investigations are still ongoing, stating that the fact that the Somali President's son was driving a diplomatic vehicle during the incident will not change anything

Ankara has demanded an explanation from Mogadishu after the departure of the son of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud from the country, despite an issued arrest warrant against him following a fatal traffic accident. This move has sparked criticism within the Turkish opposition, considering that the authorities turned a blind eye to Sheikh Mahmoud‘s son’s escape.

A Turkish official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that investigations are still ongoing. He added that in the absence of “diplomatic immunity or exception,” it will not change the fact that the Somali President’s son was driving a vehicle with a diplomatic license plate. He also mentioned that the Turkish Ministry of Justice is handling the case.

The Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office stated on Friday that the son of the Somali President left Turkey on December 2nd after the police investigation with him concluded while the motorcycle rider was still in the hospital.

The Prosecutor’s Office added that after the injured person’s death in the hospital on December 6th, an international arrest warrant was issued against the son of the Somali President.

Turkish Minister of Justice Yilmaz Tunc commented on the situation on the social media platform “X” (formerly Twitter) on Sunday, stating that an investigation is ongoing with the police officers who conducted the initial assessment of the accident.

Turkish media reported that Sheikh Mahmoud was driving a vehicle belonging to the Somali consulate on November 30th when he collided with a motorcycle delivery worker in central Istanbul, causing serious injuries.

Turkey has opened its largest embassy in Somalia and established its largest military base outside its borders in the African country. It has played a significant role in training the Somali army and improving its infrastructure and logistical systems.

Relations between Ankara and Mogadishu have witnessed remarkable development in recent years. Turkish companies secured major deals in infrastructure, such as the rehabilitation of the airport and port of the Somali capital. Turkish goods flooded the markets of the African country, with trade between the two countries surpassing around $280 million in 2020. The value of Turkish investments in Somalia exceeded $100 million.

French reports highlighted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s efforts to secure a foothold in Africa through the gateway of Somalia, capitalizing on the needs of the country torn by civil wars for a quarter of a century, with financial aid and humanitarian assistance.

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