India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has slammed the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan if Turkey on Saturday for raising the Kashmir issue yet again. India warned Erdogan to not “interfere in India’s internal affairs” after the Turkish President compared the so-called “struggle” of the Kashmiris to that of the fight of the Turks against foreign occupation during the First World War.
Don’t interfere in internal affairs: India slams Kashmir reference in Turkey-Pakistan joint declaration
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) February 15, 2020
In a joint press conference with the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Erdogan drew parallels between the “struggle of Kashmiri people” and the battle of Gallipoli which was fought in Turkey between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish President said that there is no difference between Gallipoli and Kashmir. The comments were made during Erdogan’s 4th visit to Pakistan.
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The spokesperson of the MEA, Raveesh Kumar, stated, “India rejects all references to Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India” He reiterated that the said region is an integral part of India.
Kumar added, “We call upon the Turkish leadership not to interfere in India’s internal affairs and develop a proper understanding of the facts, including the grave threat posed by terrorism emanating from Pakistan to India and the region.”
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This is not the first time that Turkey had raised the Kashmir issue, despite repeated disapproval by New Delhi. In 2019, during an address at the United Nations post the abrogation of Article 370, Erdogan was seen supporting the stance of Pakistan on Kashmir.