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Pakistan–Turkey relations

Pakistani–Turkish relations are foreign relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Turkey. “One Nation – Two States” is the phrase that best describes the relations between Turkey and Pakistan.

Governance crisis in Pakistan
Friday, April 01, 2011

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The people of both countries have brotherly relations which date back to centuries. Moreover, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Pakistan his second home. Both Turkey and Pakistan are Muslim-majority states and share extensive cultural and geopolitical links.

Development of bilateral relations
Turkey established diplomatic relations soon after the independence of Pakistan in 1947 and bilateral relations became increasingly close important owing to cultural, religious and geopolitical links between the two countries. On 26 October 2009, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was awarded with the Nishan-e-Pakistan and was the fourth world leader who spoke to the Pakistani parliament. Erdoğan said that Pakistan had always occupied a special place in the hearts and minds of the Turkish government and people.

Trade
Turkey and Pakistan are founding members of the Economic Cooperation Organization and part of the Developing 8 Countries (D-8) organization. Both nations have worked to negotiate a preferential trading agreement, aiming to considerably increase trade and investments, especially in transport, telecommunications, manufacturing, tourism and other industries. Both governments have sought to increase the volume of bilateral trade from $690 million to more than $1 billion by 2010. Pakistani exports include rice, sesame seeds, leather, textiles, fabrics, sports goods, and medical equipment. Turkey's exports to Pakistan include wheat, chickpeas, lentils, diesel, chemicals, transport vehicles, machinery and energy products. Turkish private corporations have also invested significantly in industrial and construction projects developing highways, pipelines and canals.

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Strategic ties

Pakistan and Turkey have maintained long-standing military ties, with Turkey supplying arms, military equipment and training Pakistani officers. On 2 April 1954, Pakistan and Turkey signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation. Both countries, valued as important states in their regions, joined the U.S.-led Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) aimed to bolster military and strategic cooperation and counter the spread of communism and Soviet influence in the region. Turkey has openly supported Pakistan's stance on the Kashmir conflict and maintained political and military support during its wars with India. Pakistan has reciprocated by expressing support for Turkey's policy on Northern Cyprus. Both nations have sought to expand cooperation to fight terrorism. Both countries are also members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Military relations
Both Nation were part of Cold War alliance called the Central Treaty Organization. Military-to-military contacts remain resolute, uncompromising and stalwart as ever, as the two countries now vigorously aiming and exploring the co-production of weapons ranging from armored vehicles to new-generation corvettes. Significantly, both sides also wish to boost defense exports to Islamic countries as an alternative to "expensive" Western weapons.

Aid to Pakistan
In the aftermath of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, Turkey stepped up its efforts to help the people of the affected areas. Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, paid an official visit to Pakistan in order to share the grief and agony of the brotherly people of Pakistan. Turkey announced a package of $150 million for the quake-hit people. The Turkish aid organization Kizilay (Turkish Red Crescent) also constructed a mosque in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir region. The mosque is being built in the Ottoman Style in Bagh province, it would have a capacity to accommodate 300 people, besides a guesthouse, a lodging facility and a teaching area for 250 students.

In response to the 2010 Pakistan floods, Turkey issued a rallying cry for flood-hit Pakistan. Apart, from the state and its organizations, a number of Turkish businessmen also initiated aid campaigns for Pakistan. Turkey also sent a train carrying humanitarian aid for the flood stricken Pakistan. The Turkish government also announced building of a Turkish town in the flood stricken Pakistan. Turkey has donated a total of $11 million to Pakistan. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan also visited parts of flood stricken Pakistan, Erdoğan travelled from Islamabad to Karachi with six ministers, flying by helicopter to witness aid efforts, including the completion of a village of 2,000 prefabricated houses built by the Turkish Red Crescent near Multan, in the eastern province of Punjab. After the flood when the Turkish Prime Minister could not come to Pakistan due to his engagements he sent his wife to look after the flood victims and after success in referendum he immediately came to Pakistan and personally gave the keys of the houses constructed by Turkish welfare organization to the flood victims.

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