96th Republic Day of Turkey


Republic Day marks the creation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. After Turkey’s victory in the War of Independence (1919-1923), the Turkish parliament proclaimed the new Turkish state as a republic. A new constitution, which the parliament adopted on October 29, 1923, replaced the constitution of the Ottoman Empire. On October 29th this year Turkish Nation celebrating 95th anniversary of Republic of Turkey.

The leader in the Turkish War of Independence, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, became the country’s first president on the same day. The inspiring personality of Kemal Atatürk (“Father of Turks,” as Mustafa Kemal came to be known) had directed and shaped the Turkish republic. At his death in 1938 his closest associate, ?smet ?nönü, was elected president.

In January 2017 the Grand National Assembly approved legislation to hold a referendum on constitutional amendments that would dramatically expand the powers of the presidency.
Erdo?an, who had sought such measures since becoming president in 2014, campaigned vigorously for their approval in the referendum.

Early elections were called, however, and were held on June 24, 2018. Prior to the elections, the AKP entered into an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
The alliance collectively received a majority of the vote in the parliamentary contest, and Erdo?an won an outright majority in the presidential contest. The constitutional changes were then implemented in July 2018 with the inauguration of the new government.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is arguably the most successful leader in Turkey’s democratic history. After 11 years as prime minister, he becomes his country’s first directly-elected president.
He has dominated the political landscape since 2002, steering his Justice and Development (AK) Party to three general election victories.

During his term, Turkey has seen unprecedented economic growth, constitutional reform, and a re-emergence as a major global power.

He has brought economic and political stability to a country that not long ago lurched from one crisis to another. During his premiership the economy has grown strongly and Turkey is becoming a manufacturing and export powerhouse.

Pakistan and Turkey vowed to further strengthen the existing friendly ties. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Republic of Turkey made a telephone call to Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

He congratulated the Foreign Minister on recent election victory of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also extended his felicitations to the Foreign Minister on his taking charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Cavusoglu expressed strong desire of the Government of Turkey to strengthen the existing close and friendly relations between the two countries.

Reciprocating the warm sentiments, Foreign Minister Qureshi stated that over the years, Pak-Turkey relations have been transformed into a mutually beneficial strategic partnership.

Turkey stood by Pakistan in its hour of trial and supported it against Financial Action Task Force’s decision to place Pakistan on grey list. Pakistan Turkey to enhance bilateral trade to $10 billion. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a great project for Pakistan.
The new government of Pakistan had priority focus on building low-cost houses in the country and Turkey with good expertise in building such houses could help it realize that goal. Turkish companies had invested $2 billion in Pakistan and more could come if apprised of the potential business prospects.

Pakistan and Turkey were doing trade in limited items and they should focus on diversification of trade to achieve better results. Both the countries should develop direct road and railway links that would help in improving trade volume.

The ICCI chief identified tourism, information technology, food processing, agro-based industry, dairy development, furniture industry, hospitality, construction and resorts development as potential areas for JVs and investment for Turkish investors in Pakistan.
Ankara and Islamabad have recently reached a deal on the sale of a load of 30 Turkish-made helicopters said to be worth $1.5 billion. The largest-ever defencecontract between the two countries is also a boon to the Turkish defence industry.

The helicopter was developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) under license from the Italian-British AgustaWestland and it was added to the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) in 2014.Within the project, the TAI, maker of the chopper, will deliver a total of 91 helicopters to the TAF and nine more to the Interior Ministry.

A tandem seat, twin-engine, NATO-interoperable helicopter developed for the attack, armed reconnaissance, precision strike and deep strike missions under any weather conditions.
Before the two countries inked the deal, the choppers were tested in Pakistan. And they also participated in a fly-past ceremony in capital Islamabad during “Pakistan Day” celebrations on March 23 this year.

Turkey-Pakistan military ties are historic and not new. The two air forces are one of the closest in terms of cooperation, exchange of training, procurement and strategic partnerships.

Pakistan and Turkey are traditional allies and have strong defence and economic ties. The two countries have enjoyed good relations since the foundation of the two states in the first half of the 20th century despite being under the rule of different governments and military regimes.

President Erdogan is the first foreign dignitary to have addressed Pakistan’s apex constitutional forum thrice.

“The relations between Turkey and Pakistan are of exclusive nature far beyond diplomatic contacts between two states. We are two brotherly countries, not in words but in real meaning,” said Erdogan in his speech.

Turkey is one of the key participants in Pakistan’s International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) and companies from both sides always showed interest to each other’s products.

Their air forces signed an exchange program, and a total of 1,494 Pakistani military personnel have received their military education in Turkey since then. During the same period, 125 Turkish military personnel participated in educational programs at Pakistan War Colleges and Pakistan National Defense Academy. Pakistan has also supplied Turkey with small arms in accordance with NATO specifications.

During that period the party has become synonymous with its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose own rule as prime minister and president has seen him surpass the tenure of the country’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

He now faces the challenge of winning parliamentary and presidential elections – brought forward from November 2019 – in the face of an economic slump, entanglement in Syria and deteriorating relations with allies such as the US.

The writer is media consultant email: syeed.gilani@gmail.com