Cross section of participant’s protocol officers  

By Ndey Sowe

The Turkish’s Government on Tuesday March 12th 2019, started a three-day training for fifty-eight Gambian Protocol Officers, ahead of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit.

The event is part of ongoing preparations for the summit to be held in November this year.

The preparation of these officers for the Summit, was held at a local Hotel in Banjul with the objective of helping the country host the OIC summit successfully.

Three Turkish Protocol officers led by Emre Zeki Karagol, Deputy Director General of Protocol at the Turkish Foreign Affairs, flew in the Gambia with two other colleagues, in the persons of Yigithan Ozden and Turgay Dagistanli.

The training which commenced on Tuesday March 12th, is expected to conclude on Thursday March 14th.

My friends and I, have experienced eighteen different summits. We are here to share our experiences,” said Emre Zeki Karagol. She said they will share their experiences for them to learn from.

Salimatou Touray Permanent Secretary at the Gambia’s Foreign Ministry, said the training could not have come at a better time; that the country is heading for the OIC summit and want the country to do its best. According to her, the country’s protocol department is still young and urges participants to take advantage of this training. Touray said Turkey has been instrumental in helping the country build their capacity and preparedness to host the OIC in several areas; adding since 2017, Turkey has held several trainings for the country’s security forces, particularly the police.

Dilating on the support received from Turkey, PS Touray said thirty Gambian Police Officers were trained by two Turkish Police Officers last week.

“My expectations after the training would be that my staff and all those drawn from across the various sectors would be brought up to speed as well as scale up on their inspections,” she said. She further described the protocols as the face of the Gambia, and urged the trainees not to be reserved but rather ask questions to trainers in order to get it right.

Touray finally called on participants to make the best use of the training.

According to the Turkish Ambassador to the Gambia, Ismail Sefa Yuceer, Turkey’s objective is to help Gambia host a successful OIC summit; adding Turkey is the current country chairing the OIC.

“OIC is one of the biggest events in the world. We are ready to share our experience with our Gambian brothers so that this event will be a success,” said Yuceer; noting the training of protocol officers is to have the requisite profession skills to respond and tackle challenges, as well as prepare before the summit.

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