The people of Türkiye elected President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the third time in Türkiye's presidential elections in May 2023. In the wake of Erdoğan's triumphant re-election, it is evident that his victory will have far-reaching implications within the country and the wider region. His leadership and political acumen have propelled Türkiye's development and cemented its position as a prominent player on the global stage.
Before delving further into the impact of Erdoğan's recent victory on Pakistani-Turkish ties, it is worth mentioning that Erdoğan, since his Istanbul mayorship position back in the 1990s, won every election he participated in and managed to transform his country into a competitive and influential actor in the region.
As we look toward the future of Türkiye-Pakistan relations, it is clear that the bond between the two nations will continue to strengthen. Both countries share a rich history of mutual support and cooperation built on diplomatic, cultural, economic, military and Islamic ties.
The history dates back to World War I when Muslims sent financial aid to the Ottoman Empire, eventually contributing to Türkiye and Pakistan's formation. This shared Islamic history has fostered a friendly and brotherly relation between the two nations.
Türkiye has consistently supported Pakistan in international forums such as the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), particularly on the Kashmir issue. Both countries condemn the brutality and injustice faced by the people of Kashmir, Palestine and Muslims worldwide. Moreover, Türkiye supports Pakistan's membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
The recent visit of Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif further reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing bilateral relations and increasing trade volume. In 2018, Pakistan Navy had already purchased four MILGEM (National Ship) ships from Türkiye. In the recent visit, it was decided to increase the trade volume between the two countries from $1 billion (TL 26.9 billion) to $5 billion.
During a press talk, Sharif clarified that enemies of Türkiye are enemies of Pakistan. Pakistan stands with Türkiye in its fight against terrorism, including the threats posed by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and PKK terrorists.
Moreover, the shared commitment to counterterrorism and stabilizing Afghanistan demonstrates the alignment of their interests in promoting regional security and stability. Both leaders share the same opinion on the current situation in Afghanistan. They are committed to stabilizing Afghanistan and minimizing the effects of the long war. Both countries are actively working together for the welfare of the Afghan people.
According to Turkish media, a year ago, Erdoğan expressed that Pakistan's security, stability and prosperity are equally important to Türkiye. Ankara pledged to provide all necessary support to strengthen Pakistan's military infrastructure. They decided to build two corvettes in Türkiye and later two in Pakistan, facilitating technology transfer. Additionally, Pakistan and Türkiye have conducted joint military exercises in the past and signed various memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on military training and production.
Both nations share an affinity for each other's media and entertainment content. The famous Turkish series "Resurrection: Ertuğrul" has gained popularity in Pakistan, offering insights into Turkish culture, traditions and valor. Similarly, Pakistani content can be dubbed in Turkish for Turkish cinemas and TV. Türkiye welcomes Pakistani journalists with open arms.
Looking ahead, the future of Türkiye-Pakistan relations seems promising and bound by a shared vision of progress, peace and prosperity. As both nations continue to stand together, supporting each other in times of difficulty and championing common causes on the international stage, the friendship and brotherhood between Türkiye and Pakistan will undoubtedly grow even stronger.