By Mama A. Touray
At least 500 personnel of The Gambia Armed Forces who are about to visit Turkey on a course programme, completed an intensive Turkish language programme conducted at the Fajara Barracks.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff Major General Mamat O. Cham said ”This occasion with flags of your graduation, your joyful appearance this morning indicates that a glad and the sleepless nights of studying the Turkish language and struggling to meet the requirements are finally over.”
“I am certain that those hard hours for the past three months you have put through are not in vain as the course must have broadened your ability and proficiency beyond your ordinary knowledge to areas of learning new languages and skills of doing other things amongst other benefits.
”You must therefore leave this institution with the understanding that your new acquired language comes with high expectations from the side of the GAF, the ability to quickly comprehend essentials in language and exhibit reasonable degree of being able to communicate in other to put your points across and be understood are very essential in your military career” he reminded them.
The Deputy Chief of Defence Staff thanked the Turkish government for its help to air the military personnel to the turkey for further training.
For his part, Tolga Berek Turkish Ambassador to the Gambia said: ”I was at the inauguration ceremony and had expressed my view that this is not only a military training program but also a good instrument in developing our people-to-people relations. Because 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.
“Even a modest level of Turkish language you have acquired here, will help you better understand the training programme in Turkey. Beyond that, this will be a real added value in developing our friendship ties, as you know, our relations with The Gambia are developing at every level, including political, economic, commercial, agricultural, health and technical cooperation levels, but 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 the areas of training and logistical support,” he added.
Major Modou J. Manneh second in Commander of the Gambia Armed Forces and Trainee who was also part of the trainees said ”We take immense pleasure in thanking the Turkish MAARIF Foundation for the successful implementation of the three months Turkish language course for the members of the Gambia Armed Forces, and in extension thanked our respected principal of the foundation.