Turkey to temporarily take control of Sudanese island

Turkey is to take over and restore the Sudanese island of Suakin, which was under the control of the Ottomans from 1555 to 1865, pro-government Sabah newspaper quoted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as saying.

‘“Will you assign this island to us, so we can completely restore this island and bring it to a state in accord with its historical glory?’ I asked (President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan),” Erdoğan said.

“My dear brother Omar al-Bashir said ‘OK’.”

Erdoğan maintains the West was responsible for the destruction of the island, whose coral buildings once enlivened a popular route for African pilgrims to Mecca.

Others have claimed that the island lost commercial significance after sea routes around Africa became more cost-effective, with one account saying that two-thirds of Suakin’s houses were abandoned by 1814.

“They have levelled it to the ground,” Erdoğan said. “Who? The West. This is in the West’s character.”

Restoring the island would be an “answer” to the West, Erdoğan said.

“You will see,” he added.


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