For a nation, which stood at the verge of collapse and faced virtual annihilation, the moments of struggle and the final triumph are too dear to be forgotten by vicissitudes of time. The proud and happy Turkish nation of today is not likely ever to forget the glorious struggle for survival led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Ottoman Empire, having been defeated in World War I was forced to sign the ignominious Treaty of Sevres which aimed at the disin-tegration of the country and its occupa-tion by the enemies. Ataturk refused to acknowledge this shameful Treaty and im-mediately launched a national struggle for the country’s independence. He had to succeed if the name of Turkey was to remain on the map, for its enemies were deter-mined to wipe it out by apportioning to themselves what was left of the great Otto-man Empire. Struggling untiringly with great far sight and self-reliance Ataturk achieved his objective and, in 1923, Turkey signed the Treaty of Laussane on its own terms. The momentous victory of the Turks is the shining chapter of history all too familiar to friends and foes alike.
The indomitable courage and determi-nation of the Turkish nation had saved the homeland and it was very natural that the nation be the custodian of its own destiny. Moreover, the 20th century had brought a wind of change. And a free and dynamic people must keep pace with the fast moving current of time in order to live with freedom and honour. It was therefore a natural sequence to the events of recent history and culmination of the inexorable process of evolution that Turkey was declared a Republic on 29th October, 1923. Ataturk had said “Sovereignty belongs uncondi-tionally and without reservation to the Nation.” This epigram which had become a countrywide slogan during the national struggle, ultimately became a reality and, today, it is one of the fundamental articles of the Turkish Constitution.
Fifty years have passed since the birth of the Turkish Republic, and during this period of half a century the world has seen may crises including the great human calamity, the World War IL. Destinies of many a people have changed, and yet many others are struggling to find their rightful place in this world. Each passing year was no less than a raging storm, but like a young sapling bending with howling winds with its roots firmly in the ground, the young Republic withstood the caprices of time. Each year on 29 October, while cele-brating the anniversary of the Republic, the Turkish nation looks back with satis-faction over its achievements and feels hap-py at the ever growing strength of the Republic.
This year the Turks throughout the world will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Republic. Guided by the abid-ing principles of Ataturk the Turkish nation has covered a long distance since the founding of the Republic. If the Turks are proud of their achievements of the last fifty years, they are still more proud that they progressed under the rule of democracy. It is very important to note that in all the ups and downs of the past half century the nation faithfully adhered to the principles laid down by Ataturk. These principles or rather reforms of Ataturk in the economic, social, legal, educational and ideological fields gave an effective impetus to the country’s progress, and have always been the source of strength and the guiding factor in every aspect of Turkish national life.
In celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Republic, the Turkish nation is not only looking back proudly to all these fruitful years, but is also looking forward confidently to the future. The celebration of the 50th anniversary is a renewal of the nation’s pledge to defend at all costs the independence of the country and the Republic, and to achieve Ataturk’s ideal of “surpassing the level of contemporary civilization.” The relations between Pakistan and Turkey have always been very Cordial and the people of Pakistan and Turkey have brotherly feelings for each other. With the signing of the tripartite movement of Regional Co-operation for Development (R.C.D.), nine years ago, between the two countries and Iran these bonds have been further strengthened. The R.C.D. in the short span of nine years has given content to a dream, substance to an idea and shape to a hope which beacons to a new era of cooperation, Socio-cultural Collaboration and planned economic growth between the three countries. To day the people of Pakistan join their brethren in Turkey in their happiness and whole-heartedly congratulate them on this auspicious occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Republic of Turkey.