ANKARA – Pakistan Government would take further steps to promote the study and research of Urdu language and literature in Turkey, state Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey Sohail Mahmood during his visit to the Department of Urdu at Ankara University today.
During the visit, Ambassador Sohail Mahmood handed over more than 100 books to the Chairperson of Urdu Department, Prof. Dr. Asuman Belen Ozcan, for use as reference material by students and researchers. The books cover a wide range of subjects including history, Urdu poetry, Urdu prose, biography, literary criticism, general knowledge, and Urdu translations of selected Turkish literary works.
The books have been provided by two institutions in Pakistan — namely National Book Foundation (NBF) and Jumhoori Publications. Ambassador Sohail expressed special thanks to NBF Managing Director Dr. Inamul Haq Javed, and Jumhoori Publications Managing Director Farrukh Sohail Goindi for their generous support of this initiative.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, the Ambassador lauded the contribution of the Urdu Department of Ankara University, spread over several decades, in promoting closer cultural collaboration and understanding between Pakistan and Turkey. The Department was established in 1960 in the Faculty of Languages and History-Geography. At present, more than 100 students are pursuing Bachelors, Masters and Phd degrees at the Department.
While appreciating the support of Ankara University Rector Erkan Ibis, and efforts of Urdu Department Chairperson and Faculty, Ambassador Sohail affirmed that the Government of Pakistan would take additional steps to reinforce their endeavours.
Earlier, in December 2015, similar sets of books were presented to the Departments of Urdu at Selcuk University (Konya) and Istanbul University (Istanbul).
The Ambassador also interacted with Turkish students at the Urdu Department and exchanged views on specific ways to facilitate their studies. In his meeting with the Faculty, Ambassador Sohail inter alia apprised them of the measures being taken to provide more source materials for Urdu Studies, promote greater student and faculty exchanges in collaboration with relevant institutions, and hosting of special events honouring the life and achievements of major literary figures from Pakistan and Turkey.
It may be noted that in 2015 hundred years of Urdu in Turkey were completed and celebrated. The Government of Pakistan issued a postal stamp in October 2015 to commemorate this historic landmark.