By Adama Tine
Five hundred Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) personnel about to leave the Gambia for Turkey for a training course have recently completed an intensive Turkish language programme conducted at the Fajara Barracks.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony on Wednesday, the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Mamat O. Cham said the graduation of the 500 GAF personnel indicates that they have successfully had sleepless nights of studies as well as struggles to meet the requirements.
He added that the hard hours of studies during the past three months are not in vain as the course must have broadened their ability and proficiency beyond their ordinary knowledge.
Tolga Berek, Turkish Ambassador to The Gambia said the training is not only a military training program but also a good instrument in developing our people-to-people relations.
He explained that a new language opens all kinds of doors to new cultures, new friendships and brings professional opportunities.
“We know that a language cannot be learned properly in a few months. It may take years to have a good command of any foreign language,” he noted.
According to him, the modest level of Turkish language they have acquired will help them better understand the training programme in Turkey. He added that Turkish relationship with The Gambia is developing at every level, including political, economic, commercial, agricultural, health and technical cooperation levels.
“Our military cooperation is one of the main pillars of our long-lasting friendship. Since early 1990s, we have been committed to intensifying our support to the Gambian Armed Forces in areas of training and logistical support,” he added.