ANKARA: 24 March 2016: A large number of distinguished guests participated in the reception hosted by Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood in Ankara on 23rd March as part of the National Day celebrations. Always a highly-attended event, the “Pakistan Day” reception drew high-level political figures, parliamentarians, senior military and civil officers, leading businessmen, media representatives, Pakistani community, and diplomats based in Turkey.

The Minister for National Defence of Turkey, Ismet Yilmaz, was the chief guest on the occasion, accompanied by Deputy Minister of Economy Fatih Metin.

Other high-level guests included Head of Turkey-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group Mr. Muhammet Balta, Chairman Pakistan Turkey Cultural Association Mr. Burhan Kayaturk, Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff General Yaşar Güler, and Chairman of Saadat Party Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kamalak.

Minister Ismet Yilmaz in his speech said that Turkey-Pakistan relations were unique, with no parallel in the world. He said Pakistan’s happiness was Turkey’s happiness and Pakistan’s challenges were Turkey’s challenges. He said both countries closely collaborated in many areas including fighting terrorism. Welcoming the steps being taken to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties, he added that defence cooperation between the two countries was also continuously growing. He concluded his speech praying ‘Long Live Turkey-Pakistan brotherhood.”

Ambassador Sohail Mahmood, in his remarks, expressed sympathies and condolences over the loss of precious lives in recent acts of terrorism and reiterated Pakistan’s strong solidarity with the brotherly people of Turkey. He said the latest incidents in Istanbul, Ankara, Peshawar and Charsadda, and in Brussels, had illustrated that “we should all be in equal solidarity and address this common threat with collective efforts.”

Referring to further strengthening brotherly ties between Pakistan and Turkey, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood said both countries were working to transform this cordial relationship into a strong and comprehensive economic partnership. He highlighted that the “Framework Agreement” for a Pakistan-Turkey Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed in Islamabad on 22 March, as part of these efforts.

Guests were served Pakistani cuisine prepared by executive chefs invited specially from Pakistan. A “Pakistan Food Cuisine” event also commenced with the National Day reception. The food promotion event shall continue for the rest of the week.

Event’s photos attached, more from the link