ISLAMABAD - The Democracy and National Unity Day is celebrated to commemorate the national unity and to reminisce veteran and martyrs of July 15, 2016 deadly coup attempt against the Turkish government by the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation. The day is dedicated to all who participated in the overthrow of the coup. Leader of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan, who is certainly the most popular leader across the world, survived a military coup attempt with magnificent determination of the Turkish nation.

Turkish ambassador Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul organized an event to commemorate the third anniversary of the Democracy and Unity Day and pay tribute to martyrs of July 15, 2016 thwarted coup at Turkish embassy in Islamabad. Sohail Mahmood, foreign secretary, was the chief guest while Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed, VC Sargodha University, and renowned Journalist Farooq Adil shared point of views about democracy and unity day of Turkey.

Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul, a pleasing man with great body language, was welcoming the guests. He is a visionary man and with his expertise and knowledge, he uttered scholarly. Number of guest including scholars, diplomats, ambassadors and businessmen were there to show their solidarity with the Turkish nation .There was a quiet good number of journalists present at the event. A film was also screened to demonstrate the resilience by the Turkish nation and their pledge to their leader Tayyip Erdogan for democratic system in the country. National anthem of Pakistan and Turkey were played.

People were indulged in a discussion on various issues. They whole-heartedly admired the leadership of Erdogan. They believe that he is democratically promoting socially conservative and liberal economic policies in his administration. He is committed to bring prosperity and advancement inside Turkey as well as in the region by developing its relations with the Muslim and neighbouring countries. Erdogan never surrendered to economic terrorism just like he did not surrender against FETO organization and proved himself the true leader of his country.

Sohail Mahmood has joined as the 30th foreign secretary of Pakistan in April 2019. Previously, he was serving as high commissioner in India and also served as an ambassador in Turkey.

He is an alumnus of Columbia University, New York, from where he studied Masters in International Affairs. He is a humble and learned man. He made a speech which truly depicted the sentiments of every Pakistani for brotherly country. He paid homage to the martyrs of the July 15, 2016 and congratulated the government and the brotherly people of Turkey on the Democracy and National Unity Day. On this day 3 years ago, he said, the Turkish citizens from all walks of life and across the political spectrum wrote an illustrious chapter of courage, bravery and commitment to democratic principles that will forever be remembered in the annals of history. He further stated that this day was a reminder of the triumph of human courage and perseverance against all odds, symbolized by the selfless sacrifices by the brave Turkish nation for the unity, peace and prosperity of their country.

Today, he said, is a reaffirmation of Pakistan’s unwavering solidarity and support for the brotherly Government and the people of Turkey.

Turkish ambassador Yurdakul started his speech with a verse of Allam Iqbal and then explained and related that verse to the sacrifices of the July 15, 2016.

‘Agar Usmaniyon par koh-e-gham toota to kya gham hay

Ke khoon-e-sad hazar anjum se hoti hai sahar paida’

If a mountain of grief collapsed upon Ottomans, then why lament? For the dawn arises from the blood of a hundred thousand stars.

He said that three important years have passed since the 15th of July coup attempt carried out by the FETO terrorist organization. This 15th July coup attempt was planned by the FETO leadership and carried out by members of the organization, whom infiltrated into our army by disobeying the chain of command of the armed forces. This heinous act constitutes the deadliest terrorist attack that Turkey has ever experienced. That night, 251 citizens were killed and more than 2,000 people were injured, he said.  He elaborated all the aspects of FETO network conspiracies against Erdogan.

He admired Turkish people who have stood against this horrific threat and courageously demonstrated to the world that they did not recognize any power over their will and stood ready to sacrifice their lives to protect of their state and the democratic system.

He explained very well explained that how in the past three years they fight against FETO both inside and outside Turkey. He mentioned three pillars of their effort to eradicate FETO. Firstly, on the basis of the rule of law, the perpetrators of the 15th July coup attempt have been brought to justice. Secondly, he said, FETO‘s organizational structure within government institutions has been unveiled. Apart from those within the government institutions, FETO’s attempts to spread across all areas of the economy via its shell entities, particularly in the education, media and banking sectors, have been thwarted. As these developments took place, he stated, FETO has undergone a significant transformation.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.