Ambassador of Turkey to Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul has termed ties with Pakistan as a salient feature of his country’s Foreign Policy and people of the two countries are linked in an inseparable bond of friendship and affection.
Ambassador Mustafa struck this positive note while addressing the 95th anniversary of the Republic Day of Turkey hosted by the Embassy at its lush green lawns Monday evening.
For us the Turks, Pakistan is a home away from home, he said while quoting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Federal Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak was the Chief Guest on the occasion. One could also see distinguished names from government and opposition benches including former Defence Minister Khwaja Muhammad Asif, ex-Interior Minister Rehman Malik, parliamentarians, serving and former military officers and members of civil society greeting Turkish ambassador on the auspicious occasion.
“Turkey regards Pakistan as its brother and would always support it at international forums either including Kashmir issue,” said the Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa.
Chief Guest Khattak in his speech said Turk people always have a special place in the hearts of Pakistanis. Both Pakistan and Turkey have stood by each other through thick and thin and have proved themselves as ‘two countries, one nation’. Defence Minister also referred to President Arif Alvi’s visit to Turkey to join the country in their celebrations of the national day.
He said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the only foreign dignitary in Pakistan’s history who addressed its parliament for a record three times. He said both Pakistan and Turkey were supportive of restoration of peace in Afghanistan. Pervaiz Khattak said bilateral relations between Pakistan and Turkey were not only important for them but also for the Islamic world and expressed confidence that relations would move forward.
Later, Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak and the Turkish Ambassador joined by other officials cut the cake to mark celebrations of the 95th national day of Turkey.
On the occasion, Ambassador Ihsan Mustafa also delivered the message by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to eulogise all Turkish heroes particularly Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who lead the victory on the War of Liberation and the foundation of our new state.
He also spoke high of July 15th 2017 aborted coup’s martyrs saying the sacred memory of the members of Turkish security forces and citizens who lost their lives during the fight against terrorism would remain in our nation’s heart forever.
“We will crown our great and everlasting journey, starting from Seljuk Empire to Ottoman Empire and reaching the young Republic of Turkey, with our 2023 goals and carry it to a higher level with our visions for 2053 and 2071,” he added.
Referring to Pakistan-Turkey relations, the Ambassador said, “While choosing the options, you go for the one where you feel most secure and comfortable. For us, that option is time-tested, signed and sealed by each and every respective citizen in Pakistan,” he maintained.
Published in Melange Intl. Magazine in November 2018.