ANKARA, 16 December 2019: To pay homage to the school children and staff martyred in the brutal terrorist attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School (APS) in 2014, a solemn ceremony was held today at Keçiören, Ankara. Mayor of Keçiören Mr. Turgut Altinok, Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, Pakistan Embassy officials, their families, Keçiören Municipality officials, members of civil society and media attended the event.
In his remarks on the occasion, Ambassador Syrus Sajjad Qazi said the 16 December 2014 tragic event was one of most painful days in the history of the Pakistani nation. Even animals would not commit such a massacre of innocent children when 147 lives were taken away in the brutal terrorist attack. “The heartless manner, in which these flowers were plucked away, left every heart bleeding, and we will never wish this to happen even to our worst enemy,” Ambassador Qazi said. He thanked the people and leadership of Turkey who were among the first in the world to reach out and express strong solidarity with the people of Pakistan. He said the special gesture of Keçiören Municipality of planting a tree for each martyr was a source of strength for the grieving families and the Pakistani nation and this would keep their memory alive in Turkey forever.
While reaffirming the strong solidarity of the people of Turkey with Pakistan, Mayor of Keçiören Mr. Turgut Altinok condemned the terrorist attack and said nothing can justify such a brutal and inhuman act. He said both Pakistan and Turkey were facing the challenge of terrorism, in the shape of TTP and PKK and hoped that both countries through the support and strong determination of their people will overcome it. He said that the people of Turkey and Pakistan will always stand by each other in good and bad times.
The guests joined placed flowers at the memorial, followed by prayers for the departed souls.
It may be recalled that the people and leadership of Turkey extended spontaneous support to Pakistan in the face of the terrorist attack of 16 December 2014. Turkey declared a day of national mourning. Also, as a show of solidarity, Keçiören Municipality and Youth Wing members of the Justice and Development (AK) Party planted trees, one for each shaheed, at the AK Party Memorial Forest in Keçiören, Ankara.