As part of commemorations of ‘100 Years of Turkish War of Independence,’ Department of Urdu of Istanbul University organized an International Symposium, titled “Two Great Poets of the East: Muhammad Iqbal and Mehmet Akif Ersoy” on 29-30 April.
President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, was guest of honour on the occasion. The event was also attended by the Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, Rector Istanbul University Prof. Dr. Mahmut Ak, Dean Faculty of Literature Prof. Dr. Hayati Develi, Prof. Dr. Celal Soydan, Chairperson of Urdu Department and Prof. Dr. Halil Toker of Urdu Department.
Scholars and literary figures from Pakistan, Turkey and various parts of the world also attended the event during which numerous research papers were presented, highlighting the poetic works, philosophy and commonalities of the two great poets- Allama Muhammad Iqbal and Mehmet Akif Ersoy.
President of Azad Jammu & Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, Rector Istanbul University Prof. Dr. Mahmut Ak, Dean Faculty of Literature Prof. Dr. Hayati Develi, and organizer of the event Prof. Dr. Halil Toker of Urdu Department of Istanbul University addressed the inaugural session of the event.
Speaking on the occasion, President AJK Sardar Masood Khan said that both Iqbal and Ersoy dedicated their poetry to reviving the spirit of resistance against colonialism and intellectual imperialism. He said that their works were instrumental in the intellectual revival of the Muslim Ummah and showing them a new direction.
President AJK thanked the government and people of Turkey for their steadfast support for the just struggle for self-determination of the Kashmiri people. He in particular thanked the Turkish President, H.E. Racep Tayyip Erdogan, for being the voice of the Muslim Ummah and his role in highlighting the plight of the Kashmiri people.
Ambassador Syrus Sajjad Qazi in his 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 through their writings and poems encouraged their compatriots to participate in their national liberation struggles. Highlighting the similarities between the two great poets, Ambassador Syrus Qazi said that both Akif and Iqbal wanted to unite and liberate Muslims from Western imperialism and struggled for Islamic renaissance.
The Ambassador also paid rich tributes to Prof. Dr. Halil Toker, organizer of the event, and Prof. Dr. Celal Soydan, Chairperson Urdu Department of Istanbul University, for their enormous literary contributions and life-long dedication to the promotion of Urdu in Turkey as well as works of Iqbal.
First Secretary (Press)
Embassy of Pakistan