Cemal Sangu, Consul General of Türkiye has said that relations of Pakistan and Türkiye are very much friendly and Turkish government is trying to strengthen these brotherly relationships more strong. He expressed these views during a meeting, he held with Vice-Chancellor of Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU) Dr Mujeeb Sahrai, deans and other officials of the university on Thursday at the Conference Room of SMIU, during his visit to SMIU.

Mr Cemal Sangu said people of Pakistan specially of Sindh are of mystic thoughts. This land of Sindh has a number of prominent mystic poets like Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. Similarly, people of Türkiye are believers of Sufism and we have also saint-poet Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi. Hence, we are working to bring people of Sindh and other provinces of Pakistan close to Turkish people for spreading love and harmony in the world.

Tracing relationship of Sindh with Türkiye, he said founder of Sindh Madressatul Islam University Hassanally Effendi had strong relations with Türkiye’s Ottoman rulers. That is why he was given titles of “Bey” and “Effendi” by Sultan of Türkiye in the 19th century. “Government of Türkiye feels proud on the services of Khan Bahadur Hassanally Bye Effendi, rendered for promotion of modern education in Sindh by establishing the great institute of Sindh Madressatul Islam,” the Consul General said and added that the Turkish government with the collaboration of Department of Culture and antiquities of government of Sindh is working to restore the home place and tomb of Hassanally Effendi located in Hyderabad City. “There was no proper care and cleanness at the home and last resting place of Khan Bahadur Hassanally Effendi. Even there was a narrow street leading there, no vehicle could pass from it. This is why, our team members went there by foot,” he said and maintained that we have requested the commissioner of Hyderabad for clearing the street, that leads to Effendi’s home.

Mr Cemal Sangu announced one PhD scholarship for a student of SMIU in Turkey’s University of Ankara or University of Istanbul. “This first scholarship will be given to a female student of SMIU on poverty cum merit bases. The SMIU shall nominate its deserving candidate for the scholarship. He said this scholarship will be given to SMIU student every year due to the association of its founder Hassanally Effendi’s relationship with Türkiye.

He further said Turkish government had given 128 scholarships to Pakistan’s students for undergraduate, graduate and post graduate programs, last year. Therefore, students of Pakistan must be encouraged to avail these opportunities.

Vice-Chancellor of SMIU Dr Mujeeb Sahrai lauded the offer of Turkish Consul General for giving a scholarship to SMIU’s student for PhD. He said SMIU will open a Rumi Chair in SMIU and Turkish Corner, where information about Türkiye’s history, literature, culture and education will be available for SMIU’s students. Dr Sahrai also said SMIU will support a scholar who will conduct research on the relations of Hassanally Effendi with Ottoman empire.

Mr Khalil İbrahim Başaran, TİKA Karachi Program Coordinator talked on the projects of TIKA in Sindh and said we are working to support the people of Sindh as they are Sufi from their core of heart. In this respect we are arranging Turkish language classes here also.  Documentaries on SMIU and TIKA were also screened on the occasion. On the occasion, Dr Mujeeb Sahrai gave away shields and Ajrak as a gift to the guests. They also presented a souvenir to the Vice Chancellor.

The meeting was attended by deans of SMIU Dr Aftab Ahmed Shaikh, Dr Jamshed Halepoto, Dr Zahid Ali Channar, Advisor to Vice-Chancellor Dr Abdul Hafeez Khan, Director ORIC Dr Aamir Iqbal Umrani, Registrar Ghulam Mustafa Shaikh and Ms Uzma Batool, Additional Director Planning & Development.

Later on Counsel General visited Jinnah museum along with Vice Chancellor of SMIU and other officials, where he shown keen interest in relics of founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali, Hassanally Effendi and other alumni of SMIU. He also offered that they will translate the certificate which had been given to Hassanally Effendi by Turkish government and which are written in Turkish language.

The Turkish Consul General visited other sections of the university including Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto Auditorium, I.T. Tower and incubation center.

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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