ISLAMABAD-Turkish Victory Day is celebrated on 30th August. The day commemorates the victory of Turks in the Battle of Dumlupinar against the Greek forces in 1922. Every year, Turks pay tribute to the architects of this victory, i.e. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his soldiers. This year to mark the 96th anniversary of the glorious Victory day , the ambassador of Turkey Mustafa Yurdakul and Defence Attaché Lt. Col. Hakan Buke hosted a well-attended reception at a local hotel in Islamabad.

The event was attended not only by politicians, ambassadors, diplomats, businessmen and media but participation of Pakistanis from all spheres of life in the prestigious event shows that Turkey enjoys support in Pakistan both at public and official level.  Armed forces representation was also there to show solidarity with Turkey. Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari graced the occasion as the Chief Guest while Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Quarter Master General, Lt Gen Moazzam Ejaz, Senator Gen(R) Abdul Qayyum, Senator Muhammad Ateeq Sheikh, Senator Sana Jamali, Senator Sitara Ayaz, Air Marshal Shahid Akhtar Alvi, Vice Admiral Abdul Aleem were among the prominent guests. National anthems of both countries were played and a cake was also cut.

The issue of the presidential election of Pakistan was the main topic of discussion among the participants. Balochistan would play a vital role in the upcoming presidential election and it is anticipated that. Arif Alvi would win the election with majority. He is a founding member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and he is also considered as one of the authors of PTI’s constitution.

He began his political career as a President of the student union at de’Montmorency College of Dentistry in Lahore over five decades ago. I also had the honor to study in the same institution for two years but could not complete my degree due my eye ailment. Dr Arif Alvi is a committed PTI worker and showed concentrated effort to prove his capabilities. Imran khan has given equal representation of all provinces in government structure as he has selected Arif Alvi as the presidential candidate from Karachi. President Mamnoon Hussain belongs to Karachi as well.

Though Ch. Shujaat Hussain is contesting for member National assembly from Talagung but he is also taking keen interest in Arif Alvi’s presidential election campaign along with Ch. Pervaiz Elahi. They both have spent three days in Islamabad and they will travel back to Lahore tomorrow for continuity of presidential election campaign.

Lt .Gen Mozzam Ejaz was also sitting on the stage. He is humble, polite and friendly in meeting people.  He has served as GoC Bahawalpur Division & DG Housing GHQ and has also received Halil-e-imtiaz Award for his great contribution towards serving the country. If someone meets him a memorable impression of his sweet personality would be left for a lifetime .Tehmina Janjua was also there. She gives preference to attend diplomatic functions. Tehmina Janjua has 32 years of diplomatic experience and has served as foreign office spokesperson in 2011. She has also served as Pakistani ambassador in Italy. She has represented Pakistan on various international forums.Dr Shireen Mazari in a cheerful mood was busy in conversation with Tehmina Janjua. Shireen Mazari has been a member of the National Assembly since 2013. She is an intellectual defense analyst and CEO of Strategic Technology Resources. She remained in the frontline in the battle for victory of PTI.  She made a speech on this occasion in which she said that victory day is a very important day for Turkey. She said that everyone has studied the modern history, Turkish people’s struggle and the victory of Kemal Ataturk against colonialism and imperialism. She said that the fight of liberation of Turkish nation is an example for all and conveyed the message that if we are determined and resolute we can achieve independence. She greatly admired the efforts of Turkish people for liberation. She elaborated that Muslims of the subcontinent have special link with the people and the nation of Turkey. “Our ties go back a long way and we have been seeing Turkey evolve into a modern state since 1922. It is a country whose people welcome us like no other country does in the whole world.” She further said Pakistani nation stands with Turkish government and despite the challenges being imposed by imperial forces we know that Turkey will be successful in its struggle against economic might. She said that Pakistan and Turkey have being fighting with terrorism and both nations have been successful in this regard.

 The Ambassador of Turkey Mustafa Yurdakul sociably interacted with others which makes him different from previous ambassadors from Turkey. He made a short speech on this occasion in which he said that it is not the victory entitled to commemorate only with ourselves but we are obliged to interact to the masses of subcontinent who share their bright side of solidarity in Sultanate-e Usmani. He further mentioned about the contribution of Allama Iqbal for the Turkish nation. He said that Pakistan and Turkey have close and warm cooperation. Both have common concerns on International issues of trade, investments and social welfare. On the upcoming occasion of Yaum-e Shuhada he said that our consulate will pay tribute to Pakistani Shuhada and their legacy will continue to be cherished. “We all are inspired by the great people of Pakistan”, he added.

He then read out the message of President Tayyip Erdogan who has emerged as a true leader of the Muslim world as he has always urged the Islamic world to show greater unity in supporting the Palestinians, Kashmiris and Rhongiya Muslims. Through his charismatic leadership and vision President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing the biggest economic challenge of his one and a half decades in power the same way as Kemal Attaturk fought war of independence. In a message to the nation Erdogan remembered Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the commander-in-chief of the War of Independence, and all the members of his military who gifted them victory.He said that we had already announced in the Battle of Çanakkale, which we waged in our most difficult time against the biggest powers, that our struggle to make Anatolia a homeland to us, which started with the Manzikert, shall never stop. He said that August 30 well indicates that no matter how difficult the conditions are, there is always an open path in front of us for success. He further added that The Turkish nation, on July 15, once again showed the whole world its resolve to protect its independence and future against imperialist desires. He said that Turkey is reaching its goals for 2023 and will shape the future of the entire region along with that of ours. He believed that we are on the threshold of new victories, new successes today as well.We will definitely win this struggle together with those who trust in Turkey and the Turkish nation.

Turkey is a pivot of international politics nowadays. Turkey’s diplomatic clash with the United States over the issue of detainment of an American pastor Andrew Brunson has cost Turkey’s economy a share backlash. Pakistan and Turkey are time tested friends. In Pakistan, ‘Buy Lira Campaign’ has been launched on social media to show support to Turkish Lira. Pakistan is determined that Turkey will tackle this crisis and will emerge as a strong economic power.  Qatar has also pledged $15 billion to prop up Turkey’s ailing economy. Erdogan will meet with Russian and Iranian leaders in Iran on Sept. 7 to discuss development in Syria and Germany has also planned to host Erdogan for a state visit on Sept. 28.  Turkey is strong to handle current turmoil and is determined to overcome the crisis.

–The writer is a freelance contributor.