For the first time in 20 years since Somalia collapsed into civil war a major airline carrier has taxied into the arrival gate. The east African country’s president welcomed an official delegation as senior members of the Turkish government made the inaugural voyage on Turkish Airlines. The airline will make trips twice weekly as it hopes to attract great interest from the Somali Diaspora throughout Europe. Turkey has also increased its presence in the war-torn country by pledging aid and on the ground construction projects. Leaders of both countries hailed the Istanbul to Mogadishu route as a sign that Somalia is once again open for business. However, despite the claim that Somalia is safe for travel, security was so tight that even the highway leading to the airport was closed. More than one million people have died due to war, famine, and disease since the government fell in 1991.
Somalia not as safe as the brochure claims
Despite efforts to declare the capital Mogadishu and the country safe, Somalia remains a high-risk destination. The U.S. Department of State warns Americans not to travel to the country due to ongoing violence and piracy along the coastline.