Pakistan Turkey Relations – Two Countries One Nation

The article discusses “Pakistan Turkey relations – two countries one nation. Pakistan-Turkey relations 2020. Pakistan-Turkey defence cooperation. Military cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan. Defense cooperation. Pakistan Turkey relations – two countries one nation CSS notes.”

Pakistan Turkey Relations – Two Countries One Nation

Being Non Arab Muslim countries with a common history and culture the relationship between Pakistan and Turkey has always remained unprecedented. Turks were supported morally, financially and even with a large number fighters at the time of the fall of Ottoman Caliphate by their Muslim brothers from Subcontinent which the Turks remember even today with a great affection.

Pakistan Relationship With Turkey

pakistan turkey relations two countries one nation

To know more about Pak Turk relations we have to analyze it on cultural, diplomatic, and economic and defense grounds.

Cultural Bonding: Culturally both Pakistan and Turkey are influenced by Arab, Greek, Turko-Mongol and Persian cultures. The national language of Pakistan, Urdu contains a large number of Turkish words. The term Urdu in itself is a Turkish word.

In the past few years cultural bonding between the two countries has saw an unprecedented increase. This is mainly due to the cross airing of television shows by both the countries. In Pakistan on the special order of Prime Minister Imran Khan, historical Turkish TV plays such as Ertugrul Ghazi and Yunus Emre have been broadcasted on national television which have been widely hailed and liked by the public.

To go a step ahead and strengthen cultural ties even more, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his February 2020 official visit presented a plan of dual citizenship for the people of both Pakistan and Turkey. The plan is still under consideration and it aimed at granting citizenship to public of both the countries. The plan if materialized will really make people of both the countries One Nation.

Diplomatic Ties: Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1947, soon after the establishment of Pakistan. Since then both the countries are enjoying close friendly relations and strongly support each other on the issues of national interests such as on the issue of Kashmir and Cyprus.

In recent past Turkey unlike many other Muslim countries extended its full support to Pakistan in raising Kashmir Issue in the United Nations Organization (UNO) General Assembly. Similarly in the ongoing tense relations with India on the Line of Control (LoC) Turkey has always stood with Pakistan and has assured its full support in case of war with India.

Economic And Trade Relations between Pakistan and Turkey: According to the Tribune newspaper February 2020, report the current bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and Turkey is $804 million. However under the Strategic Economic Framework pact both the countries aimed at increasing bilateral trade volume to $1 billion in a short time of span.

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In long term however both Pakistan and Turkey are negotiating Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to raise bilateral trade volume. Initially the objective was to raise bilateral trade volume to $5 billion between the years 2016 to 2020 and to $10 billion by 2022 but in February 2020 session of Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council the goal was reset and now the objective is to raise it to $5 billion by the year 2023.  

In February 2020 visit to Pakistan President Erdogan said “Turkey is ready to support Pakistan in the areas of transport, energy, tourism, healthcare, education and law enforcement. This will help boost its socio-economic development.”

Pakistan-Turkey Defence cooperation

Defense relations of Pakistan and Turkey started in 1954 by signing Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) under U.S. sponsorship. The treaty aimed at increasing military and strategic cooperation between the two countries to counter the spread of communism and Soviet influence in the region. Later both Pakistan and Turkey in collaboration with Iran setup Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) in 1965 to promote national priorities. RCD is now known as ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization).

Since 2000 under the armed forces training exchange programme more than 1,500 Pakistani military officers have been trained in Turkey.

Turkey also helps Pakistan in maintaining its fleet of F-16 aircrafts and is the second biggest supplier of arms to Pakistan after China.

Over the past few years since the rise of militancy and civil war in Syria, Pakistan has extended military support to Turkey by training its soldiers to counter terrorism on its borders.

In November 2020, after harsh remarks made by the Prime Minister Imran Khan against French president Emmanuel Macron on his anti Islamic statement, French government refused to upgrade Pakistani submarine and aircrafts bought from France. In this time of need Turkey despite huge pressure from the West extended its services for upgrading the submarine. Similarly in the ongoing tense relations with India Turkey has also agreed to supply its own manufactured drones to Pakistan incase of war against India.

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Pakistan Turkey Relations 2020

At 6th session of Pakistan-Turkey High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting the following important pacts and agreement were signed by the officials of both the countries.

  • Strategic Economic Framework was signed by Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Erdogan.
  • At PM House an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed to boost cooperation in the energy sector.
  • The rector of National University of Science and Technology of Pakistan Lt. Gen. (Retd) Naweed Zaman and the CEO of the Turkish Aerospace Industries Tamel Kotli signed an MoU for cooperation between their respective institutions.
  • Another MoU for cooperation in the fields of standardization, conformity assessment, meteorology and training was signed by the President of Turkish Standard Institutions (TSI) Dr Adem Sahin and the Director General of Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) Abdul Aleem Memon.
  • An MoU was signed between the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and the Turkish Ministry of Culture, Tourism on Cooperation in Diaspora Policy inked by Overseas Pakistanis Secretary Amir Hassan and Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities President Abdullah Eren.
  • A cooperation protocol was signed between Turkish Radio Television Corporation (TRT) and Pakistan Television (PTV) to enhance media and cultural cooperation between the two countries. Similarly, another such protocol was also signed in the field of radio to enhance cooperation and share expertise.
  • The two countries also signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation for development of tourism.
  • For cooperation in the field of Halal accreditation an MoU was also signed between the two countries by the Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan.
  • The Turkish trade minister and Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh inked an MoU between the Turkish trade ministry and Federal Board of Revenue on trade facilitation and custom cooperation.
  • Another MoU for cooperation between the Pakistan Post and the Turkish Post was signed by the Communications Minister of Pakistan Murad Saeed and Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Mehmet Cahit Turan.
  • Similarly, another MoU was signed by Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and the Turkish transport and infrastructure minister to increase cooperation in the field of train transportation.

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