Islamabad: Pakistan and Turkey have agreed to increase their educational and cultural linkages. The agreement comes as Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood leading a five-member delegation meets Turkish Minister for National Education Zia Selçuk in Ankara. Both the ministers discussed steps to further increase Pakistan-Turkey relations in education, particularly technical education and vocational training. Minister Ziya Selçuk said that Pakistan occupies a very special place in the eyes of the people of Turkey. He said Pakistan and Turkey had supported each other throughout history, emphasizing that Turkey will not forget the support given by the people of Pakistan during the Turkish War of Independence, Çanakkale War, and the 15th July 2016 failed coup. He also appreciated Pakistan’s Government efforts in handing over Pak-Turk Schools to Maarif Foundation of Turkey. Referring to Jinnah Young Writers Awards essay competition, a joint project of Pakistan Embassy Ankara and Turkish Ministry of National Education, Minister Zia said it has proved an important initiative contributing to Pakistan-Turkey friendship. Minister Shafqat Mahmood thanked the Turkish hosts for the warm hospitality and said the people of Pakistan have genuine love and respect for the people of Turkey and vice versa. He particularly thanked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his steadfast support to the people of Kashmir and appreciated his bold speech in the recent United Nations General Assembly meeting in which President Erdogan showed strong solidarity with the suffering people of the Indian Occupied Kashmir. Mr Shafqat Mahmood briefed the Turkish Minister about the education reform programme of the Pakistani government that includes a uniform curriculum for the entire education sector of Pakistan. He said efforts were underway to impart quality education to Pakistani youth as per the requirements and needs of society. Shafqat and the accompanying delegation including Ms. Wajiha Akram, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, Dr. Nasir Khan, Executive Director of National Vocational & Technical Training Commission and other senior officers visited Directorate General of Religious Education of the Ministry of Education.