Gambia-Turkey relations: 250 GAF personnel to undergo 3-month Turkish language learning course

EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA:- At least 250 personnel from the Gambia Armed Forces will embark on a three-month Turkish language learning course to be offered by the officers from the Turkish Armed Forces in collaboration with the MAARIF International School.

The move according to officials, is aimed at adequately preparing the troops to understand the Turkish Language prior to their airlifting to the Republic of Turkey, where they will undergo military training program.

The personnel, which include 15 officers and 40 female soldiers, are the first batch of the proposed 500 soldiers to undergo training in Turkey.

The Gambia Armed Forces made a pledge to the UN in April 2019 to deploy a Quick Reaction Force into one of the Peace Support Operations missions precisely in Mali, DR Congo and The Central African Republic.

Officials say, the training is part of a series of activities undertaken by the GAF towards the realization of the pledge following the closure of the UNAMID in Darfur which was the flagship of the GAF in terms of peacekeeping operations.

Major Abdoulie Jobe, commander of the Gambia Armed Forces Training School, urged the trainees to give their best during the course.

“We expect nothing but for you to carry yourselves in conformity with our standing operating procedures as the only institution task with the responsibility of carrying out trainings for members of the Gambia Armed Forces,” he said.

Hissamettin Eyupoglu, the Turkish team leader, dilated on the conduct of the trainings and the subject areas the personnel will be exposed to.

“After completing this training, most of you will go to Turkey to complete your military training. We aim to teach you Turkish, and introduce you to Turkish cultures before you get there. You are going to have 12 hours of lessons per week for 12 weeks in addition to that, every week we are going to conduct seminars for two hours we will try to represent our country, its history, its geography, its economy, social and every day life and its goals and missions.”

Yakuba A Drammeh, Chief of Defense Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces, encouraged the personnel to take the training seriously, describing it as the main stay of any organization.

“In the military, training is more essential to the unit in the performance of the traditional functions and constitutional mandate. You can perform efficiently and effectively if and when you give utmost consideration to your training,” he said.

According to him, the training prepares them “because if you cannot meet this requirement you will find it difficult to meet the requirements once you leave the sores of this country.”

He also seized the opportunity to applaud first contingent of the QRF who are already at the final stages of their training.

In November 2020, the Gambia Armed Forces conducted a zoom advance advisory visit with the UN Department of Peacekeeping which paved the way for the preparation of the contingents.

These personnel will not only be trained on the Turkish language, but also their way of life, their culture among other things.

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