ANKARA, 20 June 2016:  A captivating performance illustrating myriad facets of Pakistani culture enthralled thousands on Sunday night at Keçiören, Ankara.  The occasion was the celebration of “Pakistan Night” as part of the 7th International Ramazan Festivities, hosted by the Municipality of Keçiören.

Chairman of Turkey-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Group and Justice and Development (AK) Party Member Parliament from Trabzon Mr. Muhammet Balta, President of Pakistan-Turkey Cultural Association and Member Parliament from Van Mr. Burhan Kayatürk, Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Sohail Mahmood, Keçiören Municipality Mayor Mr. Mustafa Ak, and other dignitaries jointly performed the opening ceremony of Pakistan House (Pavilion). A broad range of Pakistani products including coffee table books, textiles, traditional handicrafts, dresses, truck art, photographic display of Pakistan’s natural beauty and key events of Turkey-Pakistan relations, and tourism materials were on display.

Ambassador Sohail Mahmood paid rich tributes to Mayor Mustafa Ak on his services for the progress and development of Keçiören and for providing opportunity to the people of Kecioren to know about other cultures. He expressed gratification that enhancement of cooperative ties with Pakistan was a key priority for the Mayor. Ambassador Sohail highlighted the special and abiding nature of Pakistan-Turkey relations and stressed the importance of transmitting this glorious tradition to the younger generation in both countries. He also thanked Turkey, particularly Mayor Ak and the people of Keçiören, for planting 140 trees in memory of the schoolchildren martyred in a terrorist attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School in December 2014.

Mr. Muhammet Balta in his speech commended Mayor Mustafa Ak for opening the cultural houses of all provinces of Turkey and 19 countries of the world, including Pakistan, in Keçiören as part of the Ramazan Festivities. While referring to long-standing relations between Pakistan and Turkey, he said every Turk remembers the support extended by the Muslims of the Sub Continent to the Turkish nation during its War of Independence. He also expressed his belief that the brotherly ties between Turkey and Pakistan would continue to grow stronger with each passing day.

Mayor Mustafa Ak highlighted the importance of Keçiören Municipality’s international festivities programme, stating that it helped bring friendly countries even closer. He expressed special delight at Pakistan’s participation for the second time in their International Ramzan Festivities.

Later, students from Pakistan Embassy School, and Pakistani students at various Turkish Universities as well as Turkish students of Department of Urdu of Ankara University presented a vibrant show. The performances portrayed multiple dimensions of the rich and diverse culture of Pakistan, heartily applauded by the large audience. A particular attraction at Pakistan Pavilion was the Beetle car, with unique truck art of Pakistan, with which visitors of all ages enthusiastically took photographs. Female visitors also availed themselves of the free henna (mehandi) offered at Pakistan Pavilion.

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