(Dr. Irfan Ashraf)
Few journalists from Pakistan planned to visit Turkey to explore the country and sentiments of its people about Pakistan. Senior journalists P.J. Mir, Ameer Abbas,Nadia Naqi and Reema Shoukat and myself are the part of visiting delegation. In Pakistan we have heard a lot about the love and affection of Turkish people for Pakistanis. Purpose of the visit was to understand about people of Turkey and to feel the depth of bilateral relations between two brotherly countries. One of the other core purpose of the visit was to understand and observe the reaction of Turkish people about the failed military coup of July 16, 2016, which was halted by Turkish people, who came out in support of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
We wanted to know what were the reasons and aspects which motivated people to stand against military coup in such a way that they even didn’t hesitate to sacrifice their lives for democracy and for Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After reaching Turkey, we requested officials in Pakistani embassy to organize our meetings with top government officials. Pakistani ambassador was kind enough in facilitating and organizing our meeting with Deputy Prime Ministers of Turkey Mr. Bekir Bozdag and Mr. Hakan Cavusoglu, head of Pakistan Turkey friendship Mr. Balta in Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Vice President of Tikka, and President of top news agency in Ankara called Anadolu and also a brief meeting with DG press. One more meeting we requested them to organize with Ali Shaheen who is Deputy Minister for European Union (EU) affairs in Turkey.
So wherever we went in Turkey, we received a lot of love and appreciation, people of Turkey especially government officials met us with open hearts and shared their views regarding Pakistan. Meeting with every one left a marvelous impression in our hearts. Details of all meetings not possible to explain in one article but the bottom line is that everyone expressed their lovely thoughts to strengthen Pak Turk relations in every field like media joint productions, jointly fighting terrorism, welfare work by Tikka in Pakistan and extension of their projects in Pakistan. We also suggested in meetings with concerning officials to start a few welfare projects in Balochistan and Sindh provinces, the idea was warmly welcomed by the officials and they assured us to start projects as soon as they will get proposal from Pakistani government for the concerned projects.
We also visited Ankara Fort; we were really impressed after watching the respect for Turkish people to Mustufa Kamal Atta Turk, the founder of modern Turkish republic. Impressive museum inside the fort clearly explains the worth of a great leader. We observed that perception of Turkish people and government is more or less similar to us when they talk about West.
Turkish government officials including two Deputy Prime Ministers Mr. Bekir Bozdag and Mr. Hakan Cavusoglu, DG press department and Deputy DG Anadolu Ajency and head of Pakistan Turkey Parliamentary friendship group everybody in his briefing blamed West to destabilize Turkey, 90 percent of Turkish believed that Unites States is behind the FETO (Fethullah Gülen terrorist organization), who was involved in Military coup in Turkey on 16th, 2016 ,which was failed by Turkish people by rendering sacrifices of 240 precious lives. Let me share a little about military coup as eye witnesses told us, night of 15th July jets fly from Akinji air base, bombarded Parliament of Turkey, main target was to kill Recep Tayyip Erdogan as also raids were conducted at his residence, but fortunately Erdogan had left the place after sensing threats. Turkish national TV TRT was forcefully announced the military take over, but as Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared on screen of CNN Turk and appealed nation to come out against the undemocratic step. After few mints of his call people came out in streets and stood against tanks which were very heroic reactions. And very soon they pulled back the rebels as whole Turkey came out in the support of Erdogan, all this was due to Erdogan’s love and commitment for his nation.
All the officials told that Fethullah Gülen is behind the terror attacks in Turkey, Turkish government also arrested a USA embassy’s low ranked operator who was allegedly in connection with Gülen’s network. After his arrest US embassy denied giving visa to Turkish people in reaction, Turkey also stressed upon the need of expulsion of Gülen network from Pakistan as well. According to them Gülen can’t do anything politically because his followers are not more than 5 percent of total population of Turkey, so he used military for this option. Along with FETO Turkey also condemns the ISIS emergence and terms it as threat to global peace.
In meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Mr Bekir Bozdag, he appreciated my suggestion to make a joint media team to start awareness campaign for youth within Muslim Ummah as DAESH using Muslim youth in terror activity.
Writer is anchorperson of Roze TV.