UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS FROM ERDOGAN
By Hassan Isilow and Burcu Calik
JOHANNESBURG (AA) – Turkey’s president said on Friday he wants to boost trade ties with South Africa.
“We are committed to providing a win-win-based investment and trade environment that will benefit both countries,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told businesspeople on the sidelines of a summit of emerging country powerhouses in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The three-day summit of BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — concludes on Friday.
The Turkish president also said that African countries, just like Turkey, won their independence through blood and spirit, not at the mercy of certain powers.
“Neither we not you can make concessions from our achievements,” Erdogan added.
“What our African brothers have longed for years are true friends who respect their history, culture, traditions, languages.
“As Turkey, we want to be true friends of Africa,” he said.
Turkey will never accept an international economic order where some countries are producers and others are only consumers, Erdogan added.
– FETO terror group
Earlier on Friday, after meeting with Erdogan for bilateral talks, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said his country enjoys good bilateral relations with Turkey.
Addressing reporters at the closing of the 10th BRICS summit, he said his talks with Erdogan focused mainly on trade.
Ramaphosa also said Erdogan had explained to him about the situation in Turkey and the FETO terror group.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen were behind the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
FETO is reportedly present in more than 150 countries around the world, through schools, NGOs, lobbyists, media outlets, and other companies.
On Thursday, Erdogan said that South Africa is only second to the U.S. among countries where FETO is most active, and warned South African leaders to guard against FETO infiltration.
On Saturday, Erdogan is due to proceed to Zambia, to meet with President Edgar Lungu, in the first-ever official visit from a Turkish president to the East African country.
The BRICS group was established in 2006 to enhance cooperation between member countries and also other developing countries.