Discovering Turkey: From Past to Present

Mr. Suat Erguvan, Vice President, gave a seminar on “Discovering Turkey: From Past to Present” at the Department of IR, P&CS, National University of Modern Languages on March 14, 2014. Jointly organized by the Rumi Forum and the NUML Department of IR, P&CS, the seminar chronicled the Turkish history, culture and current affairs with a special emphasis on students’ international relations courses on the Middle East, Europe and Eurasia.

In his welcoming remarks, head of the department Prof. Dr. Z.A. Qureshi stated that the history of Turkey is full of illustrious examples in terms of cultural, military and diplomatic prowess that left indelible marks as a civilization. Mentioning a number of anecdotes from the histories of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey, Prof. Dr. Qureshi asserted that Turkey and Pakistan has enjoyed extremely close ties and mutuality despite all geographical distances. He also stated that Pakistan and Turkey support each other in all international fora and initiate for many projects to bring peace and harmony in their region and the world.

Dwelling on a number of themes and anecdotes from the early Turkish history, the Ottomans and the modern Republic of Turkey, Mr. Suat Erguvan related the dynamism embedded in the Anatolian geography and the peoples of Anatolia, regardless of ethnic or lingual background. Shaped by students’ remarks on the popular TV series on Suleyman the Magnificent and his reign termed as the ‘golden age of the Ottomans’, the seminar also highlighted the prominent statesmen such Osman Ghazi, Murad II, Mehmed II (Conqueror), Selim I and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, and their contributions.

Taking the students and the academics of the department to a tour d’ horizon, Mr. Erguvan categorically explained about the state and public structures of the Ottoman State and their impact in the world civilization. Describing the Republic of Turkey as a dynamic country with a young and progressive population, he elaborated on the Turkish foreign policy from 1920s to this date in a systematic way. Defining the modern Turkey as a phoenix that rose from its ashes, Mr. Erguvan highlighted the challenges posed by a volatile geopolitics and how Turkey steers ably on her course in her region and the world. Mr. Erguvan gave a number of examples how Turkish foreign policy evolved into a proactive and trendsetter perspective with a special emphasis on the prospects of full membership to the EU, Syrian crisis, high economic growth as motivator of a vision to be become one of the top 10 economies of the world by 2023.

A question-and-answer session was held at the end of the seminar, during which Mr. Suat Erguvan and Prof. Dr. Z.A. Qureshi provided answers extensively.

The program concluded with the exchange of souvenirs and a light reception.