Turkey navy ship visits Sudan to boost Red Sea security

Turkey navy ship visits Sudan to boost Red Sea security
A Turkish naval ship has made a three-day visit to a Sudanese port to 'boost security' in the Red Sea.
2 min read
09 March, 2019
Turkish ships have made previous visits to Port Sudan [Getty-file photo]

A Turkish naval ship arrived in Port Sudan on Saturday for a three day visit to "boost security" in the Red Sea, a Sudanese general has said.

Gojka Ada's stop at Port Sudan will last until March 11, Sudan's army said, according to AFP.

"The visit reflects the cooperation between the two armed forces and is also part of a diplomatic initiative," Sudanese General Mousa Ahmed Mousa said in the statement.

"It will also enhance the security and safety of the Red Sea."

Turkish ship Gojka Ada's visit to Sudan is part of growing military and political ties between the two countries, which were boosted following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 2017 visit to Sudan.

Turkey was reportedly given permission by Sudan to boost the Red Sea port of Suakin Island, which has fallen into disrepair. Erdogan denied there were any plans to build a military base there and said Ankara intended to boost Hajj-related tourism.

However, the move sparked concern from Ankara's regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Egypt, who fear that Turkey is seeking to extend its influence in the Red Sea region.

Sudan has been rocked by anti-government protests in recent weeks, triggered by a decision by Khartoum to triple the price of bread, with protesters later calling for President Omar al-Bashir to step down.

Bashir has refused to relinquish control of Sudan and security forces have used brute force against protesters, enforcing a year-long state of emergency announced across the country.

Human Rights Watch believe at least 51 have been killed, including medics and children, in the government clampdown.