Tuesday August 31, 2021
Istanbul (HOL) - Somalia's Minister of Defense Hassan Hussein Haji was in Istanbul on Monday to attend a ceremony for Somali officers graduating from the Turkish National Defense University.
The high-profile event was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan along with the Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar.
The ceremony was held to coincide with Victory Day or Turkish Armed Forces Day. The public holiday commemorates Turkey's victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar, which ended the Greco-Turkish War.
Minister Haji presented the graduation diplomas to Somali National Army officers who have completed their education.
Haji thanked the Turkish government for supporting Somalia's security forces.
The Turkish National Defense University was established on July 31, 2016, as a part of a rapid military transformation to root out FETO members after their failed coup d'etat. Before 2016, military high schools and academies in Turkey were under the umbrella of the Turkish General Staff. It began classes in February 2017 at the Air Force Academy.
Ten percent of the roughly 6,750 students are international students.
Turkey has been training Somali soldiers for the past decade. It built Campt TurkSom, its largest overseas military base, in 2017 to train over 10,000 Somali soldiers.