ANKARA, Aug 15 — Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah arrived here today for a seven-day visit to Turkiye.

Their Majesties and their entourage arrived at the Esenboga International Airport here at 5.30pm (local time) in a special aircraft and were given a grand welcome.

Accompanying Their Majesties were their children Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Afzan Aminah Hafizatullah and Tengku Puteri Raja Tengku Puteri Jihan 'Athiyatullah.

Their Majesties, who had taken off from the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 10am, were also accompanied by Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz and Foreign Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Amran Mohamed Zin.

Al-Sultan Abdullah and Tunku Azizah were received on arrival by Turkiye vice-president Fuat Oktay, Malaysia’s Ambassador to Turkiye Sazali Mustafa Kamal and Turkiye’s Ambassador to Malaysia Emir Salim Yuksel.

Two children presented bouquets of flowers to Tunku Azizah.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong then inspected a guard-of-honour mounted by the 4th Army Corps and Garrison Commander of Ankara, with the King acknowledging the soldiers with the ‘Merhaba Asker' greeting.

While in Ankara, Al-Sultan Abdullah is scheduled to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Palace and Their Majesties will also attend a state banquet hosted by Erdogan and his wife Emine Erdogan at the same venue.

Al-Sultan Abdullah is also scheduled to visit defence company FNSS Defense Systems and Turkish Aerospace Industries while Tunku Hajah Azizah will visit the Goreme Museum in Cappadocia and the Ankara Advance Technical Institute for Girls.

Their Majesties will then leave for Istanbul on Thursday where they will attend a dinner with members of the Malaysian diaspora.

Their Majesties are scheduled to visit the Abu Ayyub al-Ansari Tomb, Sultan Abdul Hamid II Tomb, Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque and Topkapi Palace Museum before returning to Malaysia on Sunday.

The state visit by Their Majesties is at Erdogan’s invitation.

It was originally scheduled for last year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The last state visit to Turkiye by a Malaysian monarch was in 1992 by the 9th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the late Sultan Azlan Shah. — Bernama