A delegation of 18 journalists from North Africa visited the Directorate General of Press and Information (DGPI) under the program co-organized by DGPI and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA).

DGPI Director General Mehmet Akarca provided detailed information on the recent issues on Turkey’s agenda to the delegation consisting of journalists from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. In his remarks, Akarca pointed to the ongoing conflict and recently escalating tension in the region. He told about the history of Turkish democracy and how it was interrupted by military coup d’états almost every ten years. “20 giant banks went bankrupt during the crisis of 2001 and Turkey became unable to pay its debts. Since 2002, however, Turkey has made a great leap of development. I am saying this as a journalist. There have been developments in a variety of fields including transportation and health. Turkey currently has maybe the most developed health system in the world and no citizen lacks access to treatment because of financial difficulties.” Akarca said. He also underlined the stance Western countries have taken against Turkey due to the level of development achieved and its foreign policy becoming more and more independent.

In response to a Tunisian journalist’s question about Turkey’s Syria policy and its approach to African countries, Akarca noted the following: “Turkey considers North African countries as brotherly countries. There is such a strong feeling of fraternity between our people. Turkey does not have the slightest negative opinion about Syria’s territorial integrity. Two countries are at odds due to Assad’s oppression of his people and his support to terrorist groups.”

Also referring to the illegitimate referendum in Northern Iraq, “We hope they will understand and turn back from this mistake in a peaceful way.” Director General Akarca said.