ANKARA – The Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah held meetings with Turkish Minister for National Defence Ismet Yilmaz and several dignitaries during his four-day bilateral visit to Turkey from 10-13 December. Pakistan Chief of Naval Staff and his Turkish counterpart discussed ways to strengthen overall defence relations and to promote ties between the navies of the two brotherly countries.
During his visit, Admiral Zakaullah met with the Minister for National Defence of Turkey Mr. Ismet Yilmaz, Acting Chief of the Turkish General Staff General Yaşar Güler, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces Admiral Recep Bülent Bostanoğlu, and Undersecretary for Turkish Defence Industries Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir.
On this occasion, Admiral Zakaullah also invited Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu to visit Pakistan and reiterated earlier invitation to the Turkish Navy to participate in the forthcoming multinational naval exercise, Aman-2015, scheduled in North Arabian Sea by Pakistan in February 2015. Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu confirmed Turkey’s participation in the Naval Exercise with its naval vessel “TCG Büyükada”.
Turkey is one of the first foreign countries that Admiral Zakaullah is visiting after assuming the office of the Chief of Naval Staff. Upon his arrival at the Turkish Naval Forces Headquarters, Admiral Zakaullah was presented a guard of honour by a contingent of Turkish Navy. In recognition of his services for promotion of cooperation between the two navies, he was decorated with “Legion of Merit of the Turkish Armed Forces” by his counterpart at a remarkable ceremony in Turkey.
The visiting Pakistani dignitary during his meeting with the Minister for National Defence Mr. İsmet Yılmaz discussed matters regarding ongoing defence projects and ways to further boost defence ties. Mr. İsmet Yılmaz reassured to share Turkish defence sector experience with Pakistan.
Pakistan Naval Chief briefed the Turkish Minister about the success of the international defence exhibition, IDEAS 2014, recently organized by Pakistan in Karachi city. The response from foreign exhibitors from all over the world was overwhelming, said Naval Chief, specially mentioning the Turkish defence producers, who had the largest pavilion in the entire exhibition.
Admiral Zakaullah later on called on the acting Chief of Turkish General Staff General Yaşar Güler and discussed matters of mutual interest. General Yaşar Güler referred to his recent visit to Pakistan where he led Turkish delegation to the 10th session of Pakistan-Turkey High Level Military Dialogue Group (HLMDG). To bolster cooperation in the field of defence, both the military leaders agreed to develop HLMDG – a forum established in 2001 for promoting defence collaboration between both brotherly countries.
During his meeting with Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir, Undersecretary for the Turkish Defense Industries, various proposals for joint production were discussed. Progress on the construction of Logistics Support Ship for Pakistan Navy being built by STM of Turkey at Karachi Shipyard was reviewed in the meeting and prospects of further projects also came under discussion.
Earlier, Admiral Zakaullah and his delegation members visited Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to pay homage to Turkey’s first president and the great leader of Turkey’s war of independence. He also visited Military Electronic Industries of Turkey (ASELSAN). During their stay in Turkey, the Pakistani delegation will also visit shipbuilding and allied industries.