Foreign Minister Meets Turkish Speaker, MPs

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey with the Turkish Speaker of Parliament, Mustafa Sentop

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has held talks with the Turkish Speaker of Parliament, Mustafa Sentop.

She has also met with some Turkish Members of Parliament (MPs) who are part of the Turkish Parliamentary Friendship Association.

The meetings on January 13, 2020, formed part of activities marking her official visit to Turkey.

The discussions during the meetings centered on strengthening relations between the Parliaments of Ghana and Turkey.

Speaking during the meeting with the Turkish Speaker of Parliament, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said relations between Ghana and Turkey, which date back to the 1960s, have 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 striving 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 21st March, 2011 and underscored its importance as a mechanism to deepen relations between the two legislatures.

She reiterated that since its founding, there have 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 Salihu Dandaawa Alhassan.

She expressed the view that exchanges would enable the two institutions to exchange best parliamentary practices and to deepen their collaboration.

The Minister recalled that President Tayyip Reccep Erdogan addressed Ghana’s Parliament during his Official visit to the country in 2016, which was the first time a Turkish President addressed a Parliament in Sub-Saharan Africa, and noted that it was a testament to the deep relations between not just the two institutions but, more importantly the two countries.

Meanwhile, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey called for Turkish support to build the capacities of Ghanaian Parliamentarians to deliver optimally and help build a strong institution for the benefit of their citizenry who they represent, and to continue to serve as an example to other African countries.

She indicated that Ghana is going to the polls this year, 2020 to elect a new President and Parliamentarians and assured her host that President Akufo-Addo’s Government will ensure that the elections are free, fair, transparent and credible.

BY Melvin Tarlue