Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil, says Turkey will continue to strengthen its bilateral relationship with Nigeria being its largest trading partner in Sub Saharan Africa.
Cakil made this known on Wednesday in Abuja when he paid a visit to the Special Assistance to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Cakil said: “My aim of coming here is to improve the Turkish-Nigeria relations in all its ramifications.
“Nigeria is a very strategic partner of Turkey in sub Saharan Africa.
“We consider Turkish-Nigeria relationship very strategic and important.
“We have been importing substantial amount of crude oil from Nigeria.
“Nigeria is number one Turkey’s trading partners since 2014 in Sub Saharan Africa.
“Nigeria and Turkey have very cordial and good relations.
“The number of Turkish companies investing in Nigeria is increasing steadily every year.
“Also, Nigerian companies have very strong interest in Turkish market.
“The Turkish Embassy in Nigeria has been there since 1962.
“So Nigeria, by all standards enjoys very cordial relations with Turkey.”
Cacil said most Nigerians in Turkey were good and law abiding, adding that there were so many Nigerian footballers, basketball, volleyball players in Turkey.
While answering questions from newsmen on the students who were detained in Turkey, the Ambassador said over 3,000 Nigerian students were in the country and only six were interrogated and released.
Cacil said: “First, two Nigerians PHD students were arrested, taken to court and the court released them.
“Another four were arrested by the Turkish Police, but were subsequently released by the relevant authority.
“There are no 50 Nigerian students detained anywhere in Turkey.
“Only six were arrested and had since been released.”
Cacil said the President of the National Association of Nigerian Student had visited Ankara, where he interacted with Nigerian students and the issue had since been laid to rest.
He said Nigerian students in Turkey had excellent academic as some of them won scholarships.
Cakil said: “There are approximately 3,000 students studying in Turkey, though I don’t know the number of Nigerians living in Turkey, but there are a lot of Nigerians doing well in business in Turkey.
“There are some of them who study in Turkey and are now engineers working there.”
Welcoming the Ambassador, Dabiri-Erewa said Nigeria looked forwards to stronger relationship between Turkey and Nigeria and urged more Turkish investors to show interest in Nigeria.
Dabiri-Erewa said: “President Muhammadu Buhari will continue to work with countries around the world, strengthen relationship with them and wherever we have Nigerian in the Diaspora, we encourage them to be law abiding.
“We will also ensure that the welfare of Nigerian students and professionals anywhere are taken care of but we would not encourage criminality.
“If anyone is caught in any act of crime he would have to pay severely for the penalty of the crime.
“So, we want to encourage Nigerians to be good ambassadors wherever they are or found themselves.”