ANKARA, 4 June 2015: The Embassy of Pakistan, Turkish Language Institution (TDK), and Urdu Department of Ankara University jointly organized a book launching ceremony of "Urdu Türkçe - Türkçe Urdu Sözlük" here today. The dictionary has been compiled by Prof. Dr. Ahmad Bakhtiar Ashraf of Ankara University and Prof. Dr. Celal Soydan of Istanbul University.
A message of the Advisor to the Prime Minister on National Security & Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Mr. Sartaj Aziz was read out on the occasion. Commending the authors for their research work, Advisor Mr. Sartaj Aziz stated that the dictionary would be useful for learners of Turkish in Pakistan and for the Turks who want to be educated about Urdu language and literature. He added that publication of such books helps further nurture the centuries’ old brotherly ties between the peoples of Pakistan and Turkey.
Messages of Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey Prof. Dr. Numan Kurtulmuş and member of Turkish Grand National Assembly Mr. Ali Şahin were also read out to the audience.
Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Sohail Mahmood in his keynote speech appreciated the hard work of the authors and co-organizers of the event. He said that Prof. Dr. Ashraf is a well known literary figure in the entire region, who was previously the Chairman of Urdu Department of Bahauddin Zakarya University and a highly respected educationist with over 24 books to his credit. He also paid rich tributes to the services of Prof. Dr. Celal Soydan who was the first Turk to have completed his Masters Degree in Urdu from Oriental Colleage of Punjab University. Prof. Soydan has also translated into Turkish the entire Diwan of Mirza Asadullah Ghalib apart from translating the Urdu works of Pakistan’s national poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
Ambassador Sohail Mahmood said that today’s event was an one of the many events planned by the Embassy in the domain of cultural diplomacy. He informed that arrangements were underway for Turkish translation of the works of leading writers of Pakistan. “It is our desire that artists, musicians and actors of the two countries work jointly to create new projects in their respective domains, thus continuing the great journey of Pakistan-Turkey friendship,” he added.
President of the Turkish Language Institution, Prof. Dr. Mustafa S. Kaçalin, offered the platform of his institution for publishing more such books that would help bring the two countries even closer. He said that this valuable publication was an excellent addition to the existing literature that shall further promote Turkey-Pakistan cultural relations.
Prof. Dr. Ahmad Bakhtiar Ashraf said that the relations between the Muslims of South Asia and Turks are centuries old. He said Urdu is one of the three largest spoken languages of the world and referred to the role that the forefathers of Turks played in evolution and further promotion of Urdu in the Sub-Continent. Prof. Dr. Celal Soydan said he and other scholars like him were honoured to teach Urdu in Turkey. He reiterated the determination to be the ambassador of Turkey-Pakistan friendship. He added that Pakistan is a true friend of Turkey.
Undersecretary for EU Affairs of Turkey and former Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan Engin Soysal, a large number of Turkish and Pakistani academics, students, members of Pakistan community and media representatives attended the event.
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