Turkish couple mesmerized by rich cultural heritage of Pakistan
Pak Tourism Industry has huge potential and can earn billions of dollars, say Yasin, Neshe
By M J Hayat
LAHORE: Pakistan has a rich cultural heritage and the way the heritage
has been preserved is worth praising besides the tourists should not
miss the sight of the historic architecture of religious and military
importance, including holy mosques, wonderful forts, striking
mausoleums and monuments which have endured through the ages till
These views were expressed by famous Turkish hosts of Channel Kanal-7
Yasin Esirgenc, Ms Neshe Ozlem Tunca who visited Punjab along with
their son, 4, Yaqoob and were mesmerized by the scenes of fine ancient
buildings and their ornamentation. Earlier they both visited
Pakistan in 2013.
Yasin Esirgenc and Ozlem Tunca Esirgenc have been regularly visiting
various parts of the world and bringing to light the hidden aspects of
the ancient world.
Recently, they have been help by Pakistan consul general in Istanbul
Bilal Pasha to visit Pakistan and shot the documentary of Pakistani
world-class matchless architectures built by the Mughal kings in the
past centuries. They visited historical places in Lahore and
Sheikhupura and praised the fine architectures of Lahore Fort, Heren
Minar, Tomb of Jahangir, Shalimar Gardens, Badshahi Mosque etc.
The films we have made would be presenting soft image of Pakistan and
the architecture of the ancient emperors in the Subcontinent not only
to the Turkish people but also in Europe and America. Pakistan tourism
industry has huge potential and can earn billions of dollars. Lahore
is amazing city and it has amazing history,” Yasin said explaining
that years ago Turkish tourism was not as developed as it is today.
In answer to a question about how much the Turkish Tourism Industry
earns every year in terms of dollars, he stated that this year record
we have 45 million tourists in 2018 while in 2017 the number was 40
Ozlem said that Pakistan has very favourable and moderate weather
conditions as it enjoys four weathers and during every season, the
tourists can come to Pakistan and visit ancient places but there is a
need to promote the tourism industry.
“I like all historical places but the Lahore Fort was the loveliest
architecture work. I visited the whole fort and had the chance to know
about its marvelous history”.
“You have abundance of historical places which can have enough
tourists once they come here. If they come to Lahore, they would
really enjoy and as you have the world class roads infrastructure they
can also move to the adjacent cities which are also teemed in the
landmark place like Haren Minar in Sheikhupura,” she said.
In answer to a question about as to what extent Pakistani authorities
have been able to protect the historic architecture, they both
expressed their satisfaction over the preservation of the rare
“Very old places and buildings have been cared and renovated
fantastically well,” Ozlem said.
To another question about to what extent Turkey can help Pakistan in
promoting tourism industry, Yasin observed that Turkish Ambassador in
Islamabad is very keen to help Pakistan and many organisations have
already been set up in Pakistan with Turkish government’s cooperation.
“A number of charities are being run while hospitals are also
working. They would certainly love to train Pakistanis in promoting
tourism industry after all Pakistan is our brother Muslim country”.
“The objective behind initiating welfare projects in Pakistan is
emotional attachment between the peoples of both countries which they
shared time and again. “We remembered the help the people of
subcontinent extended in the First World War to the Khilafat Movement.
We feel burden of the generous work of our brothers and always wanted
to pay in the same coin.
In answer to a question about peace conditions in Pakistan, the couple
stated that Pakistan is extremely a peace-loving country and there is
no such thing like terrorism. Tourists can come here without any fear
and enjoy watching and learning about the history and historical
While talking about the people of Pakistan, they were very much
excited and expressed that Pakistanis are so hospitable, lovely and
“We are feeling like we have come to our home,” they said, adding that
Lahore and Islamabad are just the same as Istanbul and Ankara both the
cities are having geographical and cultural similarities.
In the end, they were thankful to all those who supported and helped
them in their tour to Pakistan.
“We are very much thankful to Bilal Pasha, Consul General of Pakistan
in Istanbul and Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP), the
Punjab government and ISPR and President Pakistan-Turkish Cultural
Forum and CEO of Universal Travels Anis Iqbal and the Wall City
Authority, for their support and help they extended to us in our
endeavour to prepare the landmark documentaries about the ancient.