By Alaattin Dogru
DAKAR, Senegal (AA) – A fleet of buses Turkey gifted Guinea are now plying the streets of the capital Conakry, the Turkish ambassador said.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Hatice Nur Sagman, head of the Turkish diplomatic mission in Guinea, said that some of the buses provided by the Turkish government started running in Conakry as of August 1, while the rest of the buses would start their service soon.
Fifty city buses were presented by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Guinean President Alpha Conde during a visit to Guinea in March 2016.
"The buses along with spare parts started being delivered by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality with the support of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) to the competent authorities in the country in July 2016," she said.
Sagman noted that the operations and management of the buses were given to a Turkish company in accordance with an agreement made with the Conakry Municipality.
"The buses were foreseen to be used by 6,000 people but reached 10,000 passengers due to the intense interest of the people," she added.
Sagman emphasized that this act will strengthen friendly relations between the two countries and open the way for more comprehensive joint projects in the future.
TIKA's Guinea Coordinator Ismail Gurlek said that after the maintenance, repair and technical training provided by the Turkish expert team, the 20 buses with the pilot scheme started its 28-kilometer route from Autonome Port of Conakry to Dabompa.
Gurlek also added that TIKA is working hard to realize more useful projects in the country.
During Erdogan's visit to Guinea, nine agreements were signed between the two countries in the fields of tourism, aviation, medicine, military, electricity, hydrocarbons, mining, environmental control and works council.
Guinea was the last stop in Erdogan's four-nation tour of West Africa. He visited the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria before arriving in Guinea in 2016.
Nearly 150 Turkish businesspeople joined Erdogan during his tour.