A large number of distinguished guests participated in the reception hosted by Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi in Ankara on 23rd March as part of the National Day celebrations. Senior Turkish civil and military leadership, leading businessmen, media representatives, Pakistani community, and diplomats based in Turkey attended “Pakistan Day” reception.
Guests of honour included Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Dr. Recep Akdağ, Chief of Turkish General Staff General Hulusi Akar, Minister for National Defence Mr. Nurettin Canikli, Commander of Turkish Land Forces General Yaşar Güler, Commander of Turkish Air Force General Hasan Küçükakyüz, Commander of Turkish Naval Forces Vice Admiral Adnan Özbal, Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff General Umit Dundar, Chairman of Saadat Party Mr. Temel Karamollaoğlu, and Chairman of Grand Union Party Mr. Mustafa Destici.
Ambassador Syrus Qazi, in his welcome address said Pakistan-Turkey brotherhood is without parallel in inter-state relations. He termed it a heart-to-heart relationship that transcends boundaries of time and geography. The Ambassador thanked the Turkish Government for the participation of Turkish Armed Forces’ T-129 ATAK helicopters in Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad and for lighting the Bridges over Bosphorus in Pakistan’s colours on 23 March.
Minister for National Defence Mr. Nurettin Canikli referred to Pakistan and Turkey as true old friends and emphasized that the Turkish people believe that Pakistan will be on their side even in the most difficult days. He appreciated the support extended by the people and Government of Pakistan after the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016. The Minister pointed out that the two countries are facing similar challenges in their own geography and stressed on closer defence collaboration between the two brotherly countries.
On behalf of the President of Pakistan, Ambassador Syrus Qazi conferred Pakistan’s prestigious civil award “Tamgha-e-Imtiaz” upon Prof. Dr. Oya Akgönenç, a noted Turkish academician and former parliamentarian, in recognition of her services for further promoting Pakistan-Turkey relations.
A book titled “Jinnah Young Writers Awards Competition 2016-2017” was also launched on the occasion. It is a compilation of essays written by High School Students of 81 provinces of Turkey on Pakistan-Turkey relations during an essay competition organized in 2016 and 2017.
Guests enjoyed variety of Pakistani cuisine in the specially prepared food stalls representing diverse cuisine from Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.