Turkish first lady to follow in Erdoğan's footsteps with new book release

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s wife Emine Erdoğan is set to introduce her newly published book titled “My travels to Africa” in New York on Monday.

The book, which features her impressions and memories of her travels to Africa while accompanying her husband on foreign visits, includes the first lady’s visits to 23 countries between 2014 and 2020, Yeni Şafak newspaper reportedon Sunday.

Royalties from the book will be used to raise money for African women and children, it said.

Turkey's presence in Africa has steadily grown under Erdoğan. The number of embassies since 2002 increased from 12 to 42 and overall trade volume was $26.2 billion as of 2019. More recently, Turkey has assisted several African countries through the supply of COVID-19 masks and other protective equipment. 

Before the "African Initiative" led by Turkey in 2005, Africa was a distant continent for many in Turkey, Emine Erdoğan wrote in her book.

“This situation changed forever with my first trip to Africa,” she said. “I pay particular attention to the problems of African women and children, and I want to be a bit of a balm for their open wounds. This desire of mine is a gift from my nation, in which I was born and grew up, who raised me, shaped me, and embroidered this culture in my bones.”

The first lady will introduce her book for the first time in the Turkish House in New York, to spouses of country leaders, the United Nations and other international representatives, as well as representatives of NGOs and foreign mission chiefs, Yeni Şafak said.

The book will be on sale in Turkey at the start of October and will also be published in English, French, Arabic and Swahili by international publishers, it said.

Royalties from the book will be used for development, education, and health and cultural support to African women and children through the African Handicrafts Market and Cultural House, it said, citing the first lady’s writings in her book.

Initiated as a social responsibility project by Emine Erdoğan, the African Handicrafts Market and Cultural House was opened in the Altındağ district of Turkish capital Ankara in 2016, under the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the support of organisations like the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD), Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Turkish Airlines (THY).

The first lady travelled to the United States on Sunday with president Erdoğan, who will attend and address the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

President Erdoğan also published a book named “A fairer world is possible,” at the beginning of September, advocating global justice and equality.

In his book, the Turkish president detailed Turkey’s pursuing for justice for all humanity, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported earlier this month.

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