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TURKISH SOUP KITCHEN FEEDS OVER 3000 PEOPLE IN SOMALIA…

Turkish Red Crescent delegation head says organization operating in country since 2011 when Somalia suffered deadly famine…

MOGADISHU, Somalia

A soup kitchen in the Somali capital run by the Turkish Red Crescent feeds 3,150 people daily and distributes food to many parts of Mogadishu.

The Turkish humanitarian organization has been working in the drought-stricken country since 2011 when Somalia was witnessing one of the deadliest famines in decades.

It started operating in Somalia after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then-prime minister, paid a visit to the country, becoming the first non-African leader to do so in more than two decades and the visit opened the eyes of the international community.

The visit paved the way for Turkish humanitarian groups to operate in Somalia, helping its infrastructure, health sector, education, and humanitarian services and contributing to the country’s economic growth.

Since then, the Turkish Red Crescent has been operating in Somalia, especially in nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation, education, and other fields, according to its head of delegation Orhan Kökçü, who spoke to Anadolu Agency at Turkiye’s Embassy in Mogadishu.

Kökçü said the group has sent three major ships to the country since 2011 with 10,000 tons of food, medicine, and other assistance to extend a helping hand to “Somali brothers and sisters” in need.

After cooking is finished in the soup kitchen, he said staff distributes meals throughout the capital.

“Our soup kitchen that produces meals for 3,150 people daily throughout Mogadishu, continues to work actively. Generally, distribution is made to orphanages, disability centers, and some (internally displaced people) camps. We distribute to 19 points in total,” said Kökçü.

The kitchen has created jobs for Mogadishu residents as it has 14 permanent staff members who wake up to cook food along with a vehicle to carry the food to distribution points.

The Turkish Red Crescent is in a structure that pioneers Turkish organizations that want to help in Somalia, he said.

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