India is an emerging superpower. In today’s competitive era where India is surpassing nations in the list of largest economies, countries have now started realizing that ‘THE WORLD NEEDS INDIA’. This could be seen more recently with Turkey acting chameleon in world politics. From bashing its hard stance to flipping on the soft side, Turkey has proved India as a protagonist in geopolitics.
Turkey recognised the Indian power
Recently, at the high-level United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called out the Kashmir issue. At the general debate, Erdogan said, “India and Pakistan, after having established their sovereignty and independence 75 years ago, they still haven’t established peace and solidarity between one another. This is much unfortunate. We hope and pray that a fair and permanent peace and prosperity will be established in Kashmir.”
Interestingly, Turkey’s remarks came after almost a week when Erdogan met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand. During this, they reviewed the full range of bilateral relations and discussed ways to deepen cooperation in diverse sectors.
It’s not the first time that Erdogan has been negatively vocal on the Kashmir issue. In the past, he stood with his hard stance on Kashmir at the United Nations, depicting its closeness with Pakistan.
In the year 2019, Erdogan misapprehended the situation in Kashmir and called it as a “blockade“. He said Kashmiris are “virtually under blockade with 8 million people, unfortunately, unable to step outside of Kashmir.” In light to this, then Pakistan’s official twitter account thanked Erdogan for “forcefully raising the issue of occupied Kashmir.”
In 2020, Erdogan incorrectly portrayed the Kashmir issue on the international forum while saying, “the abolition of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir [had] further complicated the problem” and called for a resolution of the issue “within the framework of the UN resolutions and especially in line with the expectations of the people of Kashmir”.
India in the past has condemned Turkey remarks as “completely unacceptable”, while saying it should learn to respect the sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply.
Further more recently, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has met Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, and discussed the Cyprus issue after he raked up Kashmir in his address to the General Assembly. This came after EAM tweeted about the meeting. It included “Wide ranging conversation that covered the Ukraine conflict, food security, G20 processes, global order, NAM and Cyprus.”
The shift in Erdogan’s rhetoric can be reasoned with Turkey’s scaredness of Cyprus turning towards India. It becomes graver for Tayyip after analysing India’s emerging power which is currently dominating the world politics.
Turkey’s history with Cyprus
The prolonged issue in Cyprus began in 1974 when Turkey invaded the northern part of the country. The latter has stationed heavy weapons and more than 35,000 troops in Northern Cyprus since the island was split along ethnic lines in 1974.
Turkish Cypriots declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus an independent state nearly a decade after Ankara invaded Northern Cyprus, but only Turkey recognizes it. The world community at large sympathises with the Greek Cypriots, who are facing a cultural genocide at the hands of the Turks. India too, in the past, had advocated a peaceful resolution for the issue at the UN resolutions.
To put it simply, the issue prevailing between Turkey and Cyprus is just another replica of what is between India and Pakistan.
Ever since, India’s ties with anti-Turkey countries have grown in strength, Turkey is pretty much under a fear of losing its residual power. It is continuously eyeing for expansion in the region, just as China. However, Turkey has now realised that taking a step against India’s territorial integrity (supporting Pakistan), will ultimately result in decline, just as it is now happening with the paper dragon.
Turkey’s scaredness of Cyprus joining hands with India for its support, has already forced Erdogan to taste the dust. And that’s why, Erdogan is now delivering soft stance on the Kashmir issue. As it has realised that India’s manoeuvrings over the region will cause the Islamic world a severe backlash.
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