Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul: Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Aims to Bring the Two Countries Closer

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Diplomatic and bilateral ties between Pakistan and Turkey, established in 1947, have become increasingly close owing to cultural, religious and geopolitical links between the two countries.

H.E. Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul the Turkish ambassador to Pakistan has played a significant role in enhancing the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Turkey.

On December 31, 2017, Turkey’s new ambassador to Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul assumed charge of his office on completion of the tenure of S Babur Girgin, who served on the position for a little over four years.

Ihsan Yurdakul, a career diplomat, has served as a diplomat in several world capitals including Sofia, Vienna and Berlin.

Ambassador Yurdakul has been working as Acting Deputy Director General, Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Director General for Bilateral Political affairs for Syria and Lebanon.

In his welcoming address, after taking charge, the ambassador said, “I have the greatest honour and pleasure of serving as the Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan, which we always recognize as a friendly and brotherly country.

In 2017, we celebrated the 70th year of Pakistan’s creation as well as the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Pakistan. Although our official relations were established in 1947, the foundation of the friendly and brotherly ties that was supported by common religion and culture of the two peoples goes centuries back. This admirable legacy is a source of pride for us.

We enjoy excellent political relations with Pakistan. Recent high-level visits and High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council that covers the various aspects of our bilateral relations are concrete indicators of the strength of our relations”, he said.

The ambassador said we attach utmost importance to the improvement of our economic relations to the level of political relations. Within this context, increasing the bilateral trade volume and mutual investments, which are below the potential, remains one of our priorities. Increasing the number of tourists on a mutual basis is another primary objective.

“We will continue our efforts to maintain the recent positive momentum in the fields of education and culture, sothe close bonds inherited from past generations and historical experiences could be handed over to our future generations”, Yurdukal said.

Turkish Maarif Foundation and the Turkish Language Department in the NUML in Islamabad, as well as theYunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centres in Lahore and Karachi will be operational very soon and will play a great role of bringing the Turkish and Pakistani people even more closer.

“With this in mind, our main mission will be to further strengthen the relations in every field between Turkey and Pakistan that are nurtured by the historical brotherhood and friendship”, the ambassador said.

In April 2018, The Turkish embassy and Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centre jointly organized an exhibition on pictorial survey of “Turkey-Pakistan relations”, at Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

Speaking on the occasion the ambassador said ties between Pakistan and Turkey were amalgamated through our similar social values and beloved religion into a cultural fabric. This admirable legacy is a source of pride for us, he added.

Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa further said roots of relations between Turkish and Pakistani people symbolize a unique interaction and stand out as an unequivocal common voice.

“Although not widely known some sources indicate that the Muslim rulers in the Subcontinent sent congratulatory letters to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, following the Fetih of Istanbul and exchanged correspondence.

Hence the mere fact of Istanbul’s faith can be singled out as a sign of immemorial alignment and unity between our nations”, the ambassador said.

He said “we have never forgotten the generous hand lent by our brothers, our ancestors in the darkest days of the Ottoman Empire.”

 

All in all, if you are aware of the deep historical and cultural ties between Turkish and Pakistani people, you would understand that there are very few pairs of nations that enjoy relations as unique and affinity and connection as peerless as those between Turkey and Pakistan, he added.

The Turkish ambassador said he attached great importance to the Exhibition, humbly displaying some landmarks of this journey of friendship and brotherhood, between Turkey and Pakistan.

” Various pictures and photos of the different personalities and events, duly drawn or shot in the course of past centuries, shed light on the long-lasting relations of fraternity and solidarity”, he said.

He said history and common destiny bind us together. “We are neighbours without physical borders.

While giving his view on Pakistan and Turkish Education and cultural relations H.E said that, academic and agricultural ties between both countries would be further strengthened to get benefit from each other’s experiences. He was addressing a meeting of Deans and Directors of University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).

He said that both countries were enjoying excellent relations based on brotherhood, adding that many Pakistani students were studying in Turkey. “We will widen the scope of mutual cooperation, especially in the agriculture and academia. The mutual cooperation helps us learn from each other experiences.”

He lauded the steps being taken on the part of the UAF for the promotion of agriculture sector and to impart quality education and research works.

Turkey-Pakistan bilateral trade volume was 726 million USD for the year 2013. The excellent political relations between Turkey and Pakistan are not reflected enough in the economic field and the development of economic relations is the most important agenda item in bilateral relations.

Frequent high-level visits taking place between the two countries contribute significantly to the furthering of relations between Turkey and Pakistan.

Biographic Brief

Born on 30 May 1972

January 2018-: Turkish Ambassador in Islamabad

2014 – 2017: Deputy Director General for Middle East (Syria-Lebanon)

2012 – 2014: Deputy Chief of Mission, Turkish Embassy in Sofia

2010 – 2012: First Counsellor, Turkish Embassy in Berlin

2008 – 2010: Head of Department, Non-Proliferation/Arms Control, MFA

2004 – 2008: First Secretary, Turkish Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Vienna

2002 – 2004: Second Secretary, Department for Cyprus&Greece, MFA

2000 – 2002: Second Secretary, Turkish Embassy in Athens

1998 – 2000: Third Secretary, Turkish Embassy in Sofia

1994 – 1998: Attache, Department for Cyprus&Greece, Department for North America

1994: Joined the MFA