Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in Pakistan

On the invitation of President Mamnoon Hussain, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Pakistan today for a two-day. Upon their arrival at Nur Khan Air Base, the Turkish President and the First Lady have been welcomed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Kalsoom Nawaz and Maryam Safdar.

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, federal ministers, diplomats and other high ranked officials were also there to receive Turkish President. During his visit, the Turkish President will also address the Joint Session of Parliament on 17th Nov.

President Erdogan is being accompanied by a high-level delegation including ministers, senior officials and a large number of traders & business community members. Apart from meeting with President Mamnoon Hussain during his visit, Turkish President Erdogan will also hold talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

During his visit, the exchange of views between the two states’ administrative heads will cover the overall aspects of bilateral relations along with regional and international issues as well. The Turkish President will also travel to Lahore where Prime Minister Nawaz will host a dinner at Shahi Fort in Turkish President’s honour.

Before departing for Pakistan, President Erdogan held a press conference in Ankara and said that they will discuss new opportunities for cooperation with Pakistan in the areas of trade, economy, defence industry, energy and infrastructure investments.

He said that his visit will be productive in terms of consultations on regional and other international matters. Matters of strengthening deep rooted relations between Turkey and Pakistan will also be discussed, he added.

President Erdogan stated that he will meet with President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit. President Erdogan also said that he will address the Joint Session of Parliament of Pakistan which stood in solidarity with Turkey in wake of 25th July coup attempt.

In the meanwhile, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has refused the request of Turkish Ambassador to attend Parliament’s Joint Session and stood with his decision to continue his boycott of such sessions.

Imran Khan said that they would not attend Parliament’s Joint Session where Prime Minister is facing corruption charges and is yet to be cleared. Earlier, Vice Chairman PTI Shah Mehmood Qureshi had met with the Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan to discuss this issue where Turkish Ambassador had requested PTI to review its decision of boycotting the Joint Session.

Before the arrival of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a two-day state visit to Pakistan, the government of Pakistan decided to shut down the chain of private schools in Pakistan that are being run by US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The Turkish government had blamed Fehtullah Gulen for a failed military coup attempt against President Erdogan back in July, after which Turkish government had pressed several governments across the globe to close all those institutions that are linked to Fethullah Gulen.

Now government of Pakistan has issued orders to close down 23 different Pak-Turk Schools across the country being linked to Gulen. Around 108 employed teachers who are linked to Gulen and their 400 related family members have been instructed by the government to leave the country. The immigration officers have been informed to deport the teachers and administrative staff of the schools if they do not leave the country by the 20th Nov.

The Turkish government, so far, has purged thousands of people in the military, bureaucracy, academics and others sectors, specially those that were linked to Gulen, after the attempted coup. Turkey has also called on the United States of America to extradite Gulen back to Turkey.

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