Istanbul: National poet of Pakistan and great Muslim philosopher of the twentieth century Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal was commemorated in Istanbul at a literary event. Istanbul branch of Turkey-Pakistan Women Friendship Association and the Consulate of Pakistan organized the event, which was attended by a large number of guests from the academia, civil society, political parties, Pakistan community and students.
Welcoming the guests, Ms. Ulay Hancioglu, Chairperson of Turkey-Pakistan Women Friendship Association said it is great honour for her association to commemorate the great Muslim philosopher in Turkey. She expressed her keen desire to continue organizing such activities in future that will further promote brotherly relations between Pakistan and Turkey.
Dr. Yusuf Junaid, Consul General of Pakistan in Istanbul paid rich tributes to the services of Ms. Ulay Hancioglu spanning over 40 years, terming her as “ambassador of Pakistan-Turkey relations.” Dr. Junaid said Iqbal’s thoughts are greatly inspired by the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) while Turkish mystic sufi Jalaluddin Rumi has also influence on Iqbal’s philosophy. He said the idea that Iqbal presented in his famous keynote address to the session of Muslim League in Allahabad in 1930 for a separate homeland for Muslims finally became a reality in 1947 in the shape of a new independent country “Pakistan.”
Prof. Dr. Halil Toker, Chairman of Urdu Department, Istanbul University, in his address highlighted Iqbal’s political thought. He said Iqbal, the great thinker and poet of the East made tremendous efforts for unity of the Muslim Ummah. Through his writings, Iqbal encouraged the Muslims to develop their own identity. Dr. Halil said Iqbal was introduced to Turkey through the efforts of Turkey’s national poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy. Translations of Iqbal’s works by Ali Nihat Tarlan increased awareness about Iqbal in the contemporary Muslim world while mass understanding of Iqbal in Turkey was made possible through the writings of Abdulkadir Karahan, he added.
Prof. Dr. Celal Soydan of Urdu Department at Istanbul University spoke about Iqbal’s views on reforms in Turkey. He said Iqbal, who himself wanted Muslims to reform themselves in the contemporary era according to emergent needs, greatly appreciated reforms undertaken in Turkey during Iqbal’s lifetime. Mr. Muhammad Hanif Khan, PhD student at Urdu Department of Istanbul University spoke about reason and love (Ishq) in Iqbal’s philosophy. Honorary Consul General of Pakistan in Bursa Mr. Murat Tarman also shared his views on the occasion.
Awards were presented to successful high schools students of Istanbul city who composed essays on the topic of “Pakistan Turkey Relations.” Both Pakistani and Turk students also read from the poetry of Iqbal.