Karachi, January 14, 2021 (PPI-OT): Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah addressing inauguration ceremony of new building of Turkish Consulate at Clifton said that Pakistan’s relationship with Turkey pre-dates the independence of both states. He said that under the British rule, the Muslims of India regarded the Ottoman Sultan as their Caliph and Muslim freedom fighters led the Khilafat Movement to collect donations, assisting their Turkish brethren in their struggle for independence.
During Turkey’s War of Independence from 1919 to 1923, the Muslims of British India extended their unflinching support to their Turkish brothers by sending financial assistance to the Ottoman Empire, the CM said and added that during the Turkish-Russian War, a notable educationist from Sindh, Mr. Hassanally Effendi mobilized the people of Sindh to help the people of Turkey during the war. Mr Shah said that in recognition of Mr Effendi’s struggle, Turkish government awarded him with two Turkish titles- “Effendi” and “Bey.”
He added that Mr Effendi was also appointed as the honorary Turkish Consul in Karachi. “Based on this history, the people of Pakistan and particularly of Sindh, share a very special bond with Turkey that has been preserved for over a century,” the CM said. When it comes to independence or the strengthening of democracy, the political struggles of Pakistan and Turkey have been quite similar, Murad Shah said and added both the countries have had similar struggles for democracy and both have had female prime ministers- Ms. Tansu Ciller the 22nd Prime Minister of Turkey and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto both served as prime ministers from1993-1996.
He said as female prime ministers of Muslim countries, they shared a strong relationship. He added that in 1994, they visited Bosnia together ‘as brave mothers and not as politicians’ to appeal to world leaders to end civilian atrocities in Bosnia. The CM said that Turkey and Pakistan did not just share strong diplomatic relations but also deep economic, religious, cultural and military ties. “Turkey was amongst the first few countries that recognized the independent state of Pakistan and supported Pakistan’s bid to gain UN membership,” he said and added “the Republic of Turkey has expressed its unequivocal and categorical support and solidarity with Pakistan on the issue of Kashmir.”
Murad Ali Shah said that the Turkish Government has always stood by us during difficult times. “During the earthquake of 2005 in Pakistan, Turkey announced a$150 million package for the earthquake victims,” he said and added during the2010 floods in Pakistan when the Pakistan People’s Party was in power, the Turkish Government provided extensive assistance, including the reconstruction of houses in flood-affected areas. Similar aid was extended by Pakistan to Turkey with aid from our government flown in during the earthquakes in Turkey in 1999 and 2011, Mr Shah said.
The CM said that the Pak-Turkey Strategic Economic Framework has led to billions of dollars of trade and investment between the two countries, particularly in areas of transport, telecommunications, manufacturing and tourism. “Both countries are founding members of the Economic Cooperation Organization and also a part of the Developing-8 Countries,” he said and added with the Turkey-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement underway, we could foresee our bilateral trade to achieve new heights.
According to CM, Pak-Turk schools have played a key role in educating countless children in Pakistan who are attending these schools. He added that each year we witnessed an increase in the number of Pakistani students pursuing higher education in Turkish universities. “Today the inauguration of the new building of the Consulate and the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister to inaugurate this diplomatic office marks another beginning, highlighting the strength of our ties with the Republic of Turkey,” he said.
Trade and Investment: Earlier, the Foreign Minister of Turkey Mr Melvut Cavusoglu along with delegation attended a reception the Sindh Chief Minister hosted for him at CM House. The provincial ministers and chief secretary also attended the reception. The chief minister invited Turkish investors to invest in urban transport, waste management in Karachi, in renewable energy and in coal mining. The visiting Turkish minister agreed to send his investors to Sindh to explore investment opportunities, however, he agreed to work with the Sindh government in Urban Transport and Waste Management.
The chief minister presented traditional gifts, Damburo (a musical instrument), Rilhi, Sindhi bed sheet, khes, ajrak and Thari shawl. The visiting guest told the chief minister that the President of Turkey would visit Karachi during his next visit to Pakistan. The chief minister and the visiting foreign minister agreed to exchange delegation investors so that they could explore investment opportunities in both the countries.
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