ISLAMABAD - Turkey remains in the headlines due to its proactive foreign policy and courageous stance of not allowing any obstacle, to prevent it from reaching its goals of economic development and prosperity.  The country is playing a key role in the integration of global economies. On 29 October 1923, Turkey was declared as a republic. To mark the 95th anniversary of Republic Day , the ambassador of turkey Mustafa Yurdakul hosted a grand reception in his embassy garden at diplomatic enclave Islamabad. Federal Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak was the Chief Guest while Former Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif, Senator Rehman Malik, Former Minister Khurram Dastigir, MNA Dr Nisar Cheema, MNA Ali Malik, MNA Ali Zahid and Riaz Fatyana were among the notable guests. The event was one of the most crowded events in the diplomatic history of Islamabad as both lawns of the embassy were jam packed with the participants including diplomats, businessmen, politicians, armed forces personnel and media representatives. National anthems of the both countries were played and a cake was also cut by the notable guests.

The participants discussed various national and international issues on that occasion. The visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia and the upcoming visit to China was the main topic of discussion. The participants were of the view that such visits would be beneficial for Pakistan to overcome the economic crisis. The participation of the President of Pakistan Arif Alvi in the inauguration of the new airport of Istanbul is another step to further strengthen deep brotherly and historical relationships between two countries.Other dignitaries includingIran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif, the representative of the Iranian government ,Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and leaders Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Albania and Serbia also attended the inaugurated ceremony.Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan said at a lavish opening ceremony featuring several heads of state that this airport is a symbol of power, 95 years’ achievements of Turkeyand isgoing to be the most important hub between Asia and Europe.  Once all of its stages are completed, Istanbul Airport will serve 150 million passengers annually.

The economic success story of Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Singapore is not a secret and it’s because of their strong air lines and soft visa policy. Means of transportation has a direct impact on the economic success of any country and air line is the most important one. As because of the hard visa policy and poor performance of our national airline we are facing decline in our economy.

 Turkey is at forefront in promoting peace in the region. The four-party conference on Syrian issue in Istanbul were held involving the leaders of Russia, Turkey, Germany and France .the four leaders are agreed that the Syrian crisis may be resolved only through  the diplomatic efforts in coordination with the United Nations, while the Syrian people should decide the country’s fate themselves.

In the past decade there were few ambassadors of typical bureaucratic attitude from Turkey but Mustafa Yurdakul is a different man. He believes in people to people diplomacy and is brilliantly strengthening the Pak-Turk friendship bond.  Mustafa Yurdakul in his speech shared his sentiments about the deep the cordial bond between Turks and Pakistanis. Being the Turkish ambassador in Pakistan, he said it’s both a blessing and a competition. It is a competition because yesterday, today and tomorrow, we have approximately 210 million other ambassadors in these countries who were, who are and who will always be there to stand for this eternal bond and fraternity between the two nations.  He explained the nature of relations between Turkey and Pakistan with a metaphor that when we occasionally have to leave the place where we live for any reason, our options of who to give the key to look after our place are obvious: either our relatives, or our friends or our neighbours. For us, the Turks, that option is time-tested, signed and sealed by each and every respective citizen and thus obvious: Pakistan.  Later he read out the message of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which the President stated that on the Republic Day , he remembered all his heroes with respect, who pioneered the victory in their independence war and the foundation of their new state, first and foremost Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, on the 95th anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic. He extended his gratitude to his deputies, who, as the representatives of the nation have endeavoured for his country’s salvation, development, growth and strength since the first Parliament. He wished Allah’s mercy upon their martyrs, veterans, and our all ancestors, who have their blood and sweat in every inch of the Anatolian lands, the 1,000-year old homeland.   The sacred memories of the citizens and security forces, which lost their lives in the fight against terror and on July 15, will always live in their nation’s mind and their state’s identity. He said each step we have covered towards advanced democracy and strong economy in their struggle to elevate the country above the level of contemporary civilizations is a light for the glorious future. He said the new airport in Istanbul is one of these lights, too. He said each victory, which has started with Manzikert and has been continuing over the last century in Çanakkale, Kut Al Amara, Dumlup?nar and Cyprus, to our humanitarian approach in Syria, is a testament to our nation’s noble stance. He further added that every success of Turkey feeds, invigorates and energizes the hope in the shared conscience of humanity as well as in the hearts of all the oppressed and the wronged in our region and across the world. “That is why our country, which is world’s 17th biggest economy, ranks first in humanitarian aid in terms of national income,” he added. The only country that has properly fulfilled its humanitarian responsibilities and has opened its heart and doors to refugees, to whom everyone has closed their hearts and doors, has been Turkey. He said that the pride of going down in history as a country which makes its choice in every issue in favour of justice and which shares its house and bread with the oppressed rather than as a country which turns its back on them is enough for us. He said that we will continue to work with all our strength to make the Republic of Turkey, which we are marking the 95th anniversary, live forever.

Pervaiz Khattak in his speech said that Pakistan and Turkey enjoys deep cordial relations and share a strong bond with each other. He said Turkey and its great people would always carry a special place in the hearts of Pakistanis. He further said that both the countries had stood next to each other through thick and thin and proved themselves as ‘two countries, one nation’. He further said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the only foreign dignitary in Pakistan’s history who addressed the parliament for a record three times. He believed both Pakistan and Turkey were supportive of restoration of peace in Afghanistan. The bilateral relations between Pakistan and Turkey were not only important for them but also for the Islamic world and expressed confidence that the relations would move forward, he added.