On November 9, Pakistan and Turkey held several events to celebrate 70 years of their alliance and friendship. Islamabad and Ankara jointly issued a postal stamp to commemorate the event.
The joint stamp depicts two great poets and political thinkers – who left deep imprint on the hearts and minds of Muslims and Hindus of British occupied India and Turkish people – Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), the national poet of Pakistan and Mehmet Akif Ersoy (1873-1936), the writer of Turkey’s national anthem.
November 9, 2017 happens to be Allama Iqbal’s 140th birthday.
Iqbal’s poetry was based on Islam and Islamic civilization. It has been translated more than 20 different languages. Allama Iqbal received his Doctoral degree from Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich in 1908.
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, has translated some of Iqbal’s poetry from Urdu to Persian language.
Muslims who ruled Indian subcontinent for over 1,000 years, have always felt love for the Khilafat in Istanbul. During WWI, they sent aid to Ottoman Turkey and held protest rallies against British invasion. After Gen. Mustafa Kemal (died 1938) abolished Ottoman Khilafat and banned Arabic language, Islamic studies and call of prayer in public – many Muslim leaders distanced themselves from supporting the so-called “modern Turkey”.
Pakistan and Turkey along with Iraq and UK were members of United States led CENTO military pact against USSR during the Cold War – but in fact it’s to protect Israeli interests in the region. It’s dissolved in 1955.