World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkish Ambassador to Mali Kemal Kaygısız has said there is no need to worry about Turkish residents in the conflict ridden country of Mali as the French military is assisting Mali troops to root out rebels from the country.
Speaking to Today's Zaman at the Turkish Embassy, located near the River Nijer that runs through Bamako, Kaygısız said Mali is experiencing difficult times. Kaygısız said Turks who live in various parts of the country, including the capital, are safe despite fierce clashes taking place between rebels and French-backed Mali troops.
Noting that troops of the African Union will also take an active role in combat in the upcoming days, Kaygısız said the French military presence has neared 3,000 troops.
"Turks have nothing to worry about. The situation in Bamako is now calm. Most of our citizens live in Bamako. Our embassy is in close contact with them and they have nothing to fear," Kaygısız said.
Kaygısız said the advance of separatist rebels, who are stationed in the northern edge of the country, to the south was repelled by French and Malian troops. There are no Turkish residents in northern Mali, Kaygısız added.
Although the country has now descended into civil war, Turkish schools in Mali are still open and continue to operate. Kaygısız said Turkish officials and teachers are in their place and continue to do their job despite the deteriorating conditions.Last Mod: 26 Ocak 2013, 16:47