Sultan hosted to luncheon
Hakim Hayat in Istanbul, Turkey

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, accompanied by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, yesterday continued to tour the city's Historical Peninsula on the third day of the monarch's State Visit to the Republic of Turkey.

The journey in the rainy morning from the hotel where His Majesty is staying to the historical palace, now a museum, took about 20 minutes. Upon arrival of both heads of state at the Topkapi Palace, they were greeted by the Director General of the Museum, Professor Ilber Ortayli.

His Majesty toured the Chambers of the Sacred Relics where holy relics of the Muslim world are exhibited. These included a strand of hair, cloak and sword of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

His Majesty later visited the Imperial Treasury Section, which houses opulent objects used during the Ottoman Empire.

The palace was the royal residence of the Ottoman Sultans from 1465 to 1856, approximately 400 years of their 624-year reign.

The palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainment. It is now a major tourist attraction.

It also houses large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armour, Ottoman miniatures, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts and murals, as well as a display of Ottoman treasures and jewellery.

Before leaving the Topkapi Palace, His Majesty consented to sign the visitor's book and for a photograph session with the Turkish president.

Upon conclusion of the tour at the Topkapi Palace, His Majesty and the president proceeded to the Saraybunu Pierto aboard the 'Coast Guard Boat' for a journey on the Bosphorus strait towards the Anadolu Hisari Pier at the Asian part of the city.

From the Anadolu Hisari Pier, His Majesty and the president went on a motorcade towards the Adile Sultan Palace for a luncheon, which was hosted by the president.

Arriving in Istanbul last Saturday for a five-day State Visit, His Majesty, accompanied by a high-level delegation of ministers and senior government officials, will also head to the capital city Ankara today (Tuesday) to meet the Turkish president for an official welcoming at the Presidential Palace before holding a four-eye meeting, bilateral meeting, the witnessing of MoU signings and an official state banquet dinner.

The Brunei secretariat here at Istanbul told the Borneo Bulletin that the MoU will among others encompass mutual agreements on trade, economic and technical cooperation and a mutual agreement on the mutual abolition of visa.

Prior to leaving for Ankara, His Majesty had visited several places of interest in the historic city on the second and third day of his official visit.

Accompanying His Majesty throughout the visits were Egemen Bagis, Minister for European Union Affairs, as the Minister in Attendance.

Also accompanying His Majesty were Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office; Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Awg Lim Jock Seng, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade II; Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office; and other senior officials. - Borneo Bulletin (10 April 2012)