India has always stood on a tendency to offer humanitarian assistance to any nation that is in need. A recent instance can be drawn through the wheat crisis which struck the world. India emerged as a shining light for the world. Respecting us for generous behaviour is the least deserving recognition that the world can offer. But Turkey didn’t find it worthy enough.
Turkey’s created reaction to Indian Wheat Consignment
Recently, Turkey had rejected an Indian wheat consignment citing phytosanitary concerns calling the ships to sail back on May 29, 2022. The MV Ince Akdeniz loaded with 56,877 tonnes of durum wheat is now returning back to Kandala port, Gujarat.
Turkish authorities have said that the Indian wheat produce was detected with a disease called “Rubella”. Therefore, the Turkish Ministry of agriculture and forestry has denied permission for this consignment. A trader based in Istanbul said, “The Wheat shipment was detected with Indian Rubella disease and was rejected by the Turkish ministry of agriculture and forestry.”
Rubella disease or German measles is a contagious viral infection which is caused by the rubella virus. Its symptoms include red rashes. It can lead to mild or no symptoms in patients.
Turkey’s decision came when the world was already suffering from insufficient wheat stock. This is the time when international buyers are trying to secure wheat supplies. It becomes more significant when the global supply of wheat is severely affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both the war-torn countries contribute combined one-fourth of the global wheat trade.
India has always been a country whose benevolent attitude was never a secret. From the Afghanistan crisis till the war in Ukraine, India has always stood up for the people irrespective of their immutable characteristics.
The reality of Turkey rejecting India
Amidst the rejection of wheat consignment from Turkey, it has directly challenged India as the actual reason was not laid down by the Turkish authorities. Turkey’s response to India’s wheat consignment poses a direct challenge to India’s wheat production capability. If Turkey had tried to clarify its clearance parameters beforehand, then India could have provided the merchandise as per their requirements.
Days after Turkey rejected the wheat consignment by India, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said that the exports belonged to Kolkata Conglomerate ITC. He also said that the wheat consignment was actually bought by the Netherlands. That it was eventually given to Turkey came as a surprise to the company as well. Interestingly, Turkey bought wheat stock from the Netherlands which in reality is the Indian produce. This triangle formed by Turkey inclusive of India and the Netherlands pictures the reality of Turkey directly rejecting India on its face.
Read more: IMF begs India for wheat
The Indian Government’s bold response
The Union minister of consumer affairs, food, and public distribution, Piyush Goyal responded by saying, “On investigation, it was found that these exports belonged to ITC Limited. You all know how big a company ITC Limited is. You will be surprised to know that these goods were bought by the Netherlands from ITC. ITC was not aware that it was for Turkey. They themselves found out about it via a news report. This consignment was thoroughly checked according to the requirements of the Netherlands. ITC had exported wheat according to the destination of the Netherlands. When and how the consignment was diverted; and who did it – ITC has no information about it. I have full faith that the wheat of India is of good quality.”
Additionally, a government official cited the probable reason for Turkey rejecting the Indian wheat as India’s relationship with Turkey has been affected due to its support to Pakistan. He said, “There is a massive shortage of wheat globally, and we are getting queries regularly. Good if they don’t want Indian wheat, we have many more who understand the value of wheat at the moment.”
Though India is not among the largest exporters of Wheat, the global shortage of wheat made the world rely on India during this crisis. The Russia- Ukraine war caused the world a shortage of wheat produce which opened the doors of various nations for India to deliver its wheat production.
Turkey’s rejection of Indian wheat consignment seems to be a deliberate attempt by it towards hindering India’s relationship with the nation. What do they want to achieve from this stunt is the question that is bugging us all.