The University of Karachi and Yunus Emre Institute for Turkish Language in Pakistan jointly organized a one-day international seminar on ‘Turkiye—Pakistan Relations’ to celebrate the centennial of the Republic of Turkiye at the KU’s Chinese Teachers’ Memorial Auditorium on Friday.
On this occasion, a special pictorial exhibition was also held for the audience which covers different stages of past and present Turkiye.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Turkiye in Pakistan Mehmat Pacaci along with the Consul General of Turkiye in Karachi Cemal Sangu, CG of UAE in Karachi Bakheet Ateeq Al Remeithi, Director of Yunus Emre Institute for Turkish Language in Pakistan Dr Halil Toker, and the KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mehmood Iraqi inaugurated the exhibition.
Mehmet Pacaci and other guests were briefed in detail about the backgrounds and era of the pictures presented in the exhibition. The Turkiye Ambassador Professor Dr Mehmat Pacaci talked about the strong relationship between the people of the two countries and how they are connected with the hearts of each other.
He shared that the University of Karachi has accepted the proposal of the establishment of a Turkish Culture and Language Centre on the campus and hoped that it would provide a good platform for students and others to learn more about the Turkish language and rich culture of Turkiye.
“This must be very unique that people who usually don’t understand the language of each other are connected so close and always stand shoulder to shoulder during difficult times. The people of Pakistan and Turkiye had a very strong relationship even before the creation of Pakistan.”
He said that people living in both countries have known each other for the last seven or eight or even more centuries and their culture and history are often presented in the folks and literature of each other.
He informed the audience that they have received a lot of love and respect from Karachi and the University of Karachi and shared that the people of Turkiye love Pakistani people in the same manner. He narrated how the people of Turkiye and Pakistan stood tall against colonialism and actively raised their voices against aggression, oppression and injustice.
Meanwhile, CG of UAE in Karachi Bakheet Remeithi shared that he came to congratulate the Turkiye delegation on the 100th anniversary of the foundation of their motherland. He expressed that this is really good to see that a leading university in Pakistan has organized such an event and shared history and present relationships with the audience.
He also recalled when the currently Turkish president and his wife came to Pakistan to help the flood affectees and talked about their visits to remote areas of Pakistan. Bakheet Remeithi addressed in Urdu which was lauded by the audience.
Later, the CG of Turkiye in Karachi Cemal Sangu termed that this is a momentous occasion for them for many reasons and they are happy that a culture and language centre would start working from January 2024.
“Today we are not only celebrating a hundred years of Turkiye’s remarkable journey, but we are also strengthening the bonds that tie two nations together as they share a profound brotherhood and friendship that has withstood the tests of time. Our connection is built on the foundations of shared values, mutual respect, and a deep appreciation for each other’s rich cultural heritage.”
Another speaker, Turkish Educational Attaché Mehmet Toyran mentioned that in the rich tapestry of both nations’ histories, the most effective means of understanding one another is to embrace each other’s languages.
He observed that our shared past, culture, and religious ties can only be preserved and strengthened through the power of language. Turkiye has diligently worked to promote the Urdu language and literature, establishing departments in Istanbul, Ankara, and Konya.
The Director of Yunus Emre Institute in Pakistan Dr Hilal Toker hoped that the establishment of the Turkish culture and language centre on the KU campus would be a new chapter of the relationship of Pakistan and Turkiye.
Dr Hilal, who talked to the audience in Urdu, also knows different regional languages of Pakistan as well. He informed the audience that Yunus Emre was one of the greatest Sufi poets of the Turkish language and the Institute is named after him to pay him rich tributes.
He shared that this centre would be helpful for students and others a lot. He said that there are three Urdu newspapers in Turkiye while different poets and scholars have highlighted the literary work of each other through their poetry and write-ups.