Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Turkey have existed for decades. Both countries are located in Asia, with Muslim-majority populations, and have experienced military rule.
In this article, we will discuss the question ‘does Turkey support Pakistan?’, so you can gain a better understanding of the relationship between the two countries.
Does Turkey support Pakistan?
Historically, Turkey and Pakistan have maintained a cordial relationship.
In the 1920s, Pakistani Muslim leaders demonstrated allyship to the Turks. For instance, they lobbied the British Government against the abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate, to help the Turks after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after the Allied victory in the First World War.
Pakistanis also raised funds for Turkish forces to fight allied imperial powers in the Turkish War of Independence (1919-1923).
In 1947, after Pakistan gained independence from British rule, Turkey was one of the first countries to recognise Pakistan: a year later, when Pakistan introduced its currency, the Rupee, it was Turkey that printed the money for them.
In the decades since then, the relationship between Pakistan and Turkey has remained strong, as the two countries have been working together in many areas, including trade, investment, tourism, transportation, education and humanitarian assistance after natural disasters.
Counter-terrorism and defence are also key areas where Turkey and Pakistan co-operate well with one another. Both countries are part of the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Turkey Trilateral Summits, where all three nations work together on military exercises and sharing intelligence information on terrorist activities.
Finally, the two countries buy and sell arms and weapons to each other. Between 2016 and 2019, Turkish arms transfers to Pakistan have totalled $112 million, while Pakistan has purchased Turkish armaments for its JF-17 fighter jet.
So, does Turkey support Pakistan? Well, yes, Pakistan and Turkey have had a friendly bilateral relationship a long time. Today, they continue to work towards strengthening diplomatic ties. In November 2022, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif jointly inaugurated a corvette warship in Istanbul, as a symbol of the bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.
Has Turkey helped Pakistan after the 2022 floods
Following the devastating 2022 floods in Pakistan, the South Asian country has received generous foreign aid from several countries around the world.
Turkey was one of the countries which came to the rescue after the natural disaster struck Pakistan. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his support to “the brotherly people of Pakistan in this difficult time, as always,” in a phone call with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
By August 2022, just weeks after the deadly downpours of monsoon rain fell, Turkey sent a train and 7 planes to Pakistan, loaded with tents, food, medicine and relief supplies. The planes were carrying over 50,000 hygiene materials, food parcels and baby food parcels.
Additionally, volunteers from the Turkish Red Crescent helped rescue displaced flood survivors by truck or boat, and provide them with accommodation, food and hygiene. The charity’s president said the team ‘never left’ Pakistan after it witnessed a deadly earthquake in 2005.
How bad was the 2022 flood in Pakistan?
The 2022 flood in Pakistan has been described as the deadliest flood in living memory.
From June 2022, during the annual monsoon season, the country witnessed extreme torrential rainfall. This excessive rainfall was nearly 3 times higher than the country’s 30-year average. So, this triggered flash flooding across the region, which eventually caused the River Indus, which runs the length of Pakistan, to swell and burst its banks. Consequently, the water continued to envelope the land at dangerous levels.
So catastrophic was this flooding, that over 1,700 sadly lost their lives, including over 520 children. One-third of the country (an area the size of Croatia) is still submerged underwater, and it will take months for the floodwaters to recede.
This non-stop heavy rainfall has wreaked havoc across Pakistan, having destroyed and washed away dams, buildings, homes, roads, farmland, crops and livestock. The flood has caused an estimated $30 billion in financial losses, with further disruption to the economy expected.
The human cost of the natural disaster has been absolutely horrific. Millions of people across the country are now struggling to survive, amid homelessness, poverty, and loss of livelihoods, along with shortages of food, clean water, sanitation, and medical supplies.
What’s more, dangerous, waterborne diseases like cholera are spreading fast among the surviving populations. The ravaging floodwaters have damaged water supply lines, giving people no choice but to drink polluted water.
Half a million people have been forced to live in temporary relief sites, where they have become reliant on international aid in order to survive this humanitarian crisis.
As you can see, the floods have greatly exacerbated poverty and health outcomes for millions of people.
Pakistan is doing everything it can to provide emergency assistance for flood-affected people, rebuild infrastructure and revise its disaster management strategies.
However, the country cannot do this alone. This is why so many countries and international organisations are sending humanitarian aid to Pakistan, to offer a helping hand during this serious emergency.
Why does Pakistan need foreign aid?
Even before the floods struck in 2022, Pakistan has been a recipient of foreign aid from many countries and international organisations, ever since its inception in 1947. The country has accepted foreign aid for projects in various sectors, including agriculture, education, infrastructure, water, fisheries, industry and trade, sanitation and waste management, energy and governance.
The South Asian country is working hard to reduce poverty, improve health outcomes, boost the economy and create better conditions for its citizens. Yet, around 1 in 4 Pakistanis are currently too poor to meet basic needs.
Food insecurity, chronic hunger and thirst are problems across vulnerable communities. This is particularly tough for pregnant and breastfeeding women, who risk passing on infections and illnesses to their children if they themselves are under-nourished.
Pakistan also has a water crisis. Over 80% of the population faces severe water scarcity, while 79 million people do not have access to a clean toilet. This forces millions of people to drink contaminated water and defecate openly, instead- which increases the likelihood of developing infections and severe illnesses.
Moreover, Pakistan has accepted foreign aid for projects in various sectors, including education, infrastructure, water, fisheries, industry and trade, management and governance. It is the second-highest country in the world to have the most out-of-school children, with an estimated 22.8 million children aged 5-16 not attending school. So, foreign aid has helped improve school attendance, literacy rates and education outcomes among the population.
A harsh, but difficult truth is that Pakistan is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. It experiences frequent floods, earthquakes, landslides, cyclones, heat waves and droughts. This unfortunately means that the citizens are more likely to be exposed to hazards, infectious diseases, economic losses and potentially losing their loved ones, their homes and their livelihoods.
Finally, Pakistan has the second-highest number of refugees in the world, and continues to experience extremism and militancy.
Hence, all these reasons encapsulate why Pakistan has received foreign aid over the years.
How is Zohra Foundation helping people affected by the floods in Pakistan?
The floods have left thousands of people in Pakistan in a state of misery, despair and hopelessness. With no shelter, food, clean water, adequate sanitation or medical care, these people have little chance of surviving this crisis.
Our team is currently on the ground in Pakistan, distributing aid such as cooked meals, clean water, kitchen utensils, medicines, tents and hygiene kits, to help people recover from this devastating natural disaster. We have also started rebuilding homes, to offer shelter, safety and comfort to people who have been displaced during this tragedy.
We are grateful for every donation we receive. Your donations are funding the essential supplies that so many vulnerable people urgently need at this moment, after a natural disaster wrecked their lives.
Read more content about the 2022 floods in Pakistan and our humanitarian work
To learn more, read the following articles and web pages:
- Does Pakistan Receive Aid from UK?
- How Much Aid has Pakistan Received?
- What caused Pakistan floods?
- Why Does Pakistan Suffer More in Disaster?
- How can I donate online in Pakistan?
- How to sponsor an orphan in Pakistan
- Is Pakistan running out of water?
- Pakistan Appeals
- Pakistan Donations
- Pakistan Poverty
Donate to Zohra Foundation
Zohra Foundation is a London-based, UK-registered charity organization that aims to improve the lives of millions of orphans, widows and the elderly throughout Pakistan and respond to emergencies in other parts of the world.
Our team is currently delivering emergency relief across Pakistan, following the devastating 2022 floods.
All projects at Zohra Foundation are Zakat eligible. You can choose to make a one-off donation or donate on a monthly basis.
Donate to Zohra Foundation’s Pakistan Flood appeal here.
Follow Zohra Foundation on Twitter here.
To read articles on our blog, click here.
We hope we have answered the question ‘does Turkey support Pakistan?’