By Behlul Cetinkaya and Islam Uddin
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) – Anadolu Agency formally inaugurated its Islamabad office Tuesday as part of efforts to expand its global reach.
In a speech at the ceremony, Pakistan's Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, drew attention to the strong relations between Pakistan and Turkey.
The new office in the heart of the capital was inaugurated by Hussain, Turkey's ambassador to Pakistan Ihsan Mustafa Yurdakul, Anadolu Agency’s Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Director General Metin Mutanoglu and Deputy Director General Mustafa Ozkaya as well as diplomats, members of parliament, officials and prominent local media figures.
Representative of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to Pakistan Mehmet Davulcu and the heads of Turkish organizations in Pakistan were also present.
Praising Anadolu Agency’s initiative in Islamabad and inviting more Turkish companies and broadcasters, Hussain recalled that other news organizations have also started operating in Pakistan and called it a "desirable development" for his ministry.
“It is a real pleasure and honor for me to be here during this opening ceremony of Anadolu Agency's Islamabad office,” Hussain said in his opening remarks.
"Anadolu Agency is the prominent news agency of Turkey with over 40 offices around the world and almost 100 years of history. They will share their experience in the field of news making and reporting with brotherly country Pakistan," Yurdakul said.
“My best wishes of success for our colleagues who are going to be working in this capital which is actually a very, very important capital for us," he added.
Ozkaya said Anadolu Agency is excited to open its Pakistan office, which will reinforce the friendship and brotherhood between Turkey and Pakistan on all fronts.
"Pakistan is a priority country for AA with a population of over 200 million and a strategic position in Asia," he said.
“The historic and brotherly relations between Turkey and Pakistan also increases our interest in covering news from here," he added.
"Our aim here is not only to produce news on current developments but also to write feature stories about the hospitality, safety and natural beauty of Pakistan to attract more tourists thanks to our global network.”
Ozkaya cited the first registered staff of Anadolu Agency, Abdurrahman Gulam Samedani, who was born in Peshawar, northwestern Pakistan in 1886, as the best example of the historical and brotherly relations with Pakistan.
Samedani joined the Ottoman wars of Gallipoli and Iraq. After the collapse of the Ottoman State, he joined the Turkish War of Independence. He was the first representative of Anadolu Agency in a foreign country.
Located a short distance from the parliament building and other important locations such as the president's residence and prime minister's office, Anadolu Agency’s office is set to become one of the most important news hubs in the region.
* Writing by Vakkas Dogantekin