ANKARA, 13 January 2016: Aimed at further boosting bilateral trade and commercial ties as well as collaboration in educational and cultural fields between Pakistan and Turkey, an Honorary Consulate General of Pakistan was officially opened on 11 January at Bursa, the fourth-largest city of Turkey and former Ottoman capital. Bursa’s Governor Münir Karaloğlu, Ambassador of Pakistan Sohail Mahmood, Member Parliament Ms. Ceyda Bölünmez Çankırı, Osmangazi Municipality Mayor Mustafa Dürdar, Uludağ University Rector Prof. Dr. Yusuf Ulcay, the newly-appointed Honorary Consul General Murat Tarman and other guests jointly cut a ribbon to mark the formal opening of the Honorary Consulate.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood stated that the strong bonds of faith, culture, and shared history between Pakistan and Turkey were reinforced by unmatched mutual trust and a sense of common destiny, adding that “we are Two States, One Nation.” Referring to the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC), co-chaired by the Prime Ministers of Pakistan and Turkey, Ambassador Sohail noted that it was providing strategic direction to bilateral cooperation in diverse fields. He added that the inter-face between the private sectors was constantly growing, along with the number and scope of Turkish companies’ presence in Pakistan -- as reflected in numerous projects in transportation, municipal services, and energy and infrastructure. He added that both countries were also continuing negotiations on a broad-based Free Trade Agreement (FTA) covering trade in goods, services and investments.

Ambassador of Pakistan said that through increased travel, deeper academic linkages, and enhanced cultural exchanges, the multifaceted relationship was being enriched in multiple dimensions. He underlined that the role of Honorary Consulates was pivotal in all these efforts. They were well-placed to help bring the two private sectors closer and increase awareness about the myriad trade, commercial and investment opportunities in each country. Ambassador Sohail expressed the confidence that Mr. Murat Tarman would make an invaluable contribution to the growth of Pakistan-Turkey trade, economic and cultural ties and to the Bursa-Multan sister-city relationship.

Governor Bursa Münir Karaloğlu, in his address, stated that Pakistan-Turkey relations were rooted deep in history and both nations always stood by each other in good times and bad. He hoped that this fraternal relationship would grow further, with enhanced trade and mutual collaboration in various sectors including textiles, automotive industry, and food processing. The Governor affirmed his support for all endeavors aimed at fostering a stronger economic partnership.

Newly appointed Honorary Consul General Murat Tarman said he would make all possible efforts to further promote closer ties between Turkey and Pakistan, with a special emphasis on trade and economic relations. He thanked the two governments for the confidence reposed in him and expressed gratitude to Governor Karaloğlu for reaffirmation of support in the discharge of his mission.

Murat Tarman is a dynamic businessman who has well-established companies in textile, real estate, construction, and electronics. The Honorary Consulate General in Bursa under his leadership is expected to help further advance the process of deepening multidimensional cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey.