ISLAMABAD: Turkey, especially Ankara and Izmir, have consistently supported Pakistan in dialogue with Afghanistan, which is extremely crucial in changing perceptions and bridging the gap between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“This is a major feat that could not be achieved by Pakistan, Afghanistan or even America alone. This is an area where Recip Tayyip Erdogan’s presence has benefited Pakistan, even though we are unsure how the future will turn out in terms of the effects of the coalition of government in Turkey as far as Pakistan is concerned,” said journalist and academic Naveed Ahmad at a discussion held here on Friday.
Speaking about Pakistan and Turkey’s relations, Rumi Forum Islamabad Chapter Executive President and Director Suat Erguvan, who gave a presentation before the discussion, said that when the Pakistan government was asked why they don’t send trade goods to Europe through Turkey, it was highlighted that the customs tax is 15 per cent, which suggests limited interest from Turkey’s end.
Erguvan stressed that the current issue of the elections was that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) wants a coalition government, but other parties were not interested in a coalition.
“In my personal opinion, whichever party forms a coalition will also suffer the same problem that the AKP does --- greed and high-handedness”, he said.
Erguvan also said that the AKP is also favourable for an early election but the situation also shows that the AKP and the Republican People’s Partt (CHP) may form a coalition. “It is a 60 per cent lockdown and a 40 per cent showdown situation”, Erguvan said while presenting the situation of Turkey elections and its future repercussions.
Journalist Sohail Akhtar questioned the role of the army in Turkish politics when it was mentioned that the Turkish army does not have a significant role to play in politics.
When asked if the MHP and the CHP could form a coalition to compete with the AKP, Erguvan stated that it may be possible in the future, but only if they leave their personal agendas behind to think about the country’s future.
“This year the procedure of elections was different otherwise the situation would have been very messy”, said Erguvan.
He also touched upon Turkey’s attitude towards the conflict in neighboring Syria with Turkey. The discussion concluded on the note that Turkey seems to be ready to change even though a military intervention is not the kind of change Turks are looking for. Cihan News Agency hosted the discussion.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2015.
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