Welcoming the guests, Chief Editor, Sebilürreşad, Mr. Fatih Bayhan, informed that Mehmet Akif Ersoy, who was also the writer of Turkey’s national anthem, founded his magazine in 1908. He said the people of Turkey hold Muhammad Iqbal in high esteem and his magazine has published a special issue in April 2018 to commemorate one of the great political thinkers of the Muslim world.
Mr. Mehmet Akif Işık, Chairman, Mehmet Akif Ersoy Thought Association, said Muhammad Iqbal had many contributions in the field of philosophy, literature and law. His poetry had many similarities with Mehmet Akif ’s poetry.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi in his keynote speech highlighted Muhammad Iqbal’s association with Turkey and its leading literary figure Mehmet Akif Ersoy. He said Pakistani thinker and national poet Dr. Muhammad Iqbal and Turkey’s national poet and author of its national anthem Mehmet Akif Ersoy were both contemporaries. During Iqbal’s era, while the British ruled the Sub-Continent, Turkey was also passing through a difficult phase, especially after World War I. Muslims of South Asia waged a struggle for an independent country under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. At the same time, Turkey started War of Independence under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Both Muhammad Iqbal and Mehmet Akif Ersoy through their writings and poems encouraged their compatriots to participate in their national liberation struggles.
Ambassador Syrus Qazi said that it was Mehmet Akif Ersoy who introduced Muhammad Iqbal in Turkey. He said there is great similarity in their political thought. Both Akif and Iqbal wanted to unite and liberate Muslims from Western imperialism. If Iqbal considered Mevlana Rumi as his spiritual teacher, same was the case with Akif, who also had immense reverence for Rumi.
Later, a panel discussion was held on Muhammad Iqbal, with Prof. Dr. Bilal Sambur, Mr Ali K. Metin and Mr. Ibrahim Eryiğit as panellists. Leading writer and poet Mr. Cevat Akknat moderated it. The panel discussed various aspects of Muhammad Iqbal’s political philosophy, poetry and his association with Turkey.