PM Nawaz signs Erdogan daughter’s marriage document as witness


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday attended the wedding ceremony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.


President Erdogan saw his younger daughter Sumeyye marry defence industrialist Selcuk Bayraktar at a large-scale and high security ceremony in Istanbul.

In a post updated on a social media account of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the premier also signed as a witness during the Nikkah ceremony of Turkish president’s daughter.

According to sources, Nawaz is in Turkey to seek advice from Turkish president regarding the Panama Papers. The premier’s visit is said to last for just a day and he is being accompanied by his wife Kalsoom Nawaz.

Further, sources said PM Nawaz has long admired Erdogan’s tactics in dealing with his country’s dominating army and wants to implement similar strategies on his home soil. The development comes after Army chief General Raheel Sharif was quoted as asking the premier to resolve the Panama Papers issue.

Turkish media pictures earlier showed Sumeyye, 30, wearing an Islamic headscarf, sitting in the front seat of the black BMW bridal car.

Erdogan and his wife Emine have four children — eldest son Burak, Bilal and two daughters Esra and Sumeyye.

The wedding started with the reciting of Quran, the private NTV television reported.

Top officials including Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, army chief Hulusi Akar and former president Abdullah Gul attended the ceremony, to which some 6,000 guests were reportedly invited.

Foreign leaders including PM Nawaz were also in attendance.

Davutoglu’s appearance at the wedding could dismiss claims of a split with the president.

In a surprise move, Davutoglu last week announced he would step down as premier and leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at a congress later this month.

A heavyweight former foreign minister, he is believed to have been forced out of office due to repeated disagreements with Erdogan and that the key quality in the next head of government would be loyalty.

The high-profile wedding forced the closing of several roads to traffic In Istanbul and additional barriers were put up around the wedding hall in Kucukcekmece on the European side of the city, media reports said.

Sumeyye studied at Indiana Univeristy in the United States and earned a masters degree from the London School of Economics.

She served the AKP government on foreign policy issues when Erdogan was prime minister but after her father was elected president in 2014, she quit that post.

She now works as the deputy head of the non-govermental group Women and Democracy Association (KADEM).

The groom Bayraktar graduated from Istanbul Technical University’s department of electronic engineering in 2002.

He received masters degrees from the University of Pennyslvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the United States.

He has been working as chief technology officer at a family company Baykar Makina which manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles. He has taken part in a number of projects on the development of national defence systems.