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imageISLAMABAD: Pakistan is not alone in facing complex problems as Turkey is facing the same challenges, said Abdulhamit Bilici, a leading Turkish journalist here on a visit to National Press Club.

Speaking as a keynote speaker at a roundtable organized jointly by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), Rumi Forum and National Press Club, he elaborated on Turkey's long and hard struggle for democracy, economic success and the need to strengthen bonds with Pakistan as a country and its fledging media industry.

President PFUJ Afzal Butt received Turkish guests Abdulhamit Bilici, Turgut Puyan and Rumi Forum chairman Suat Erguvan at the National Press Club.

Welcoming Shamsl-ul-Islam Naz, former secretary general of PFUJ, dwelled upon the role of various unions of journalists across the country and their role in media freedom in the country.

Tariq Chaudhry, secretary general of National Press Club, gave an overview of media's role in Pakistan.

Suat Erguvan, chairman of Islamabad-based Rumi Forum, introduced the mediamen about the institute's literary and inter- cultural activities to promote dialogue between people of the two countries.

Abdulhamit Bilici, director general of the Cihan News Agency and a columnist for Zaman and Today's Zaman, in his keynote speech emphasized that the two countries' media should not be relying in western news sources to know about each other's situation.

"Pakistani media organizations must reach out to their Turkish counterparts and vice-a-versa," Bilici said, adding, "I am here to find partners for my media groups."

He wondered as to why can media houses of Turkey and Pakistan not work together when businessmen can.

Bilici referred to 32 Pak-Turk Foundations schools in Pakistan as a model of bilateral cooperation in which 750 teachers, including 140 Turk national, are imparting education to 7,500 students across the country. "We are proud of the service the schools are offering to our brotherly people."

Speaking of terrorism, he expressed heartfelt condolences and added that Turkey understands Pakistan's pain as it has lost a number people in terrorism over the past three decades.

Abdulhamit Bilici said Cihan News Agency has 50 experienced video journalists and branch offices around the globe, 81 cities in Turkey offering services in five international languages.

Shahryar Khan, President of National Press Club, offered the note of thanks to honorable guests.

President PFUJ Afzal Butt presented memorabilia to Abdulhamit Bilici.

In his brief remarks, he said, "This may be late but a sincere beginning of a long lasting media relationship with our Turk brothers. We are ready to offer all possible cooperation to any Turkish media organization."

PFUJ has in principle agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding with Rumi Forum, Islamabad.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2014

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