Turkish Ambassador opened with a message from Turkish President expressing solidarity with Pakistan
Turkish Republic Day was marked on Thursday with a grand reception in the lovely rear lawn of the embassy.
In one of the bigger events on the diplomatic calendar, a large number of attendees from various military branches and the worlds of business and politics joined diplomats at the event.
As one of Pakistan’s closest friends and a model for what Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned Pakistan becoming, it was unsurprising that so many locals were in attendance for the celebrations.
Apart from the large military contingent, several diplomats from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Turkey’s neighbours were also present for the 92nd Republic Day.
In his speech, Turkish Ambassador Sadik Babür Girgin opened with a message from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing solidarity with Pakistan and the victims of the October 26 earthquake. “We remember those who lost their lives in the earthquake…The Turkish government shares your pain.”
Later he also spoke about the closeness of Pak-Turk ties.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, the chief guest, opened by speaking of the “eternal bond” shared by the two Muslim countries.
“The feelings we have for each other are overwhelming,” he said, before bringing up the serious issue of terrorism, of which he said, “We have a common challenge to face in terrorism…I wish my brothers well [in facing the challenge],” he said while referring to the problems both countries have had in recent years.
Interestingly, the invitation to the event was written entirely in Urdu except for an embassy email address, while Ambassador Girgin also made a trilingual — English, Turkish and Urdu — speech.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2015.