Excellency Dr. İsmet Yılmaz, Minister for National Education,
Honourable Muhammet Balta, Member Parliament and Chairman Pakistan-Turkey Friendship Group,
Respectable Mr. Burhan Kayaturk, Member Parliament and President of Pakistan-Turkey Cultural Association,
Distinguished Guests, Teachers, Parents, and dear students!
I wish to begin by thanking His Excellency Minister İsmet Yılmaz for gracing this occasion with his participation as the Chief Guest.
Today is another happy moment in Pakistan-Turkey relations as we honor the winners of the Jinnah Young Writers Award for the second consecutive year.
This achievement was made possible through the tireless efforts of Ms. Funda KOCABIYIK and her dedicated team at the Ministry of National Education.
Named after Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, this essay competition forms a key feature of our public diplomacy efforts.
In the second edition of this competition, senior high school students from different parts of Turkey contributed excellent essays on “Pakistan-Turkey Brotherhood and Recent Developments.”
We are delighted that a total of 69 essays were shortlisted from 43 provinces across Turkey.
The deep thinking, high quality information, and passion and perspective contained in these essays are truly impressive.
The essays illustrate both the keen interest of the students and their valuable contribution to the Pakistan-Turkey relationship.
In fact, our main objective in instituting this annual Award is to reach out to the younger generation and acquaint them with the glorious tradition of both nations always standing by each other shoulder-to-shoulder -- be it support in the Wars of Independence, or assistance in the face of earthquakes or floods, or solidarity on Cyprus and Kashmir.
Holding the competition this year is of special significance as both countries are celebrating 2017 as the “70th Year of Pakistan-Turkey Diplomatic Relations.”
We believe our fraternal and deep-rooted ties would be further strengthened through such initiatives.
The vision of the leadership in both countries is to transform this historic relationship into a strong partnership -- encompassing all fields of human endeavor.
In the domain of education and culture, the level of our joint activities is continuously growing and enriching our relations at the people-to-people level.
I once again commend the spirit and zeal of the participating students and extend sincere felicitations to the winners, their illustrious teachers, and their proud families.
Thank you! Love live Pakistan-Turkey brotherhood!