Turkey is using its media to highlight alleged atrocities on Kashmiris and Muslims, thereby propagating “anti-India” sentiments, an Indian media report claims.
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It alleges that Turkish media platforms are playing a key role in weaving an anti-India narrative. The report has claimed that the Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) and Anadolu Agency are not only critical of India, but they have come out with several news reports on Kashmiris and the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, seen as anti-Muslim legislation.
Turkey, which is projecting itself as the leader of the Islamic world, is getting closer to Pakistan, India’s arch-rival. The report claims that a “new Turkey-Pakistan nexus has emerged” and that the country has become a “safe haven for anti-India elements to work on Pakistan’s behest”.
Like Pakistan, Turkey also runs propaganda about the alleged oppression of Kashmiris by the Indian government. Following the abrogation of Article 370, which stripped Kashmir of its special status, Pakistan has been at forefront of taking the matter to international platforms.
Along with other Muslim countries like Malaysia and Turkey, Pakistan had pressured the Organisation of Islamic Community (OIC), led by Saudi Arabia, to pass a resolution against the Indian government’s decision on the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.
Riyadh, which shares good relations with New Delhi, had termed the Kashmir conflict as India’s “internal matter” and avoided discussion on it in the OIC.
The Indian media report cited above claims that Turkey is using soft power to provoke Kashmiris. Turkish serials like Ertugrul and Baba are circulated in the Valley.
It also claims that Ruwa Shah, granddaughter of Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, hosts a show on TRT, where she allegedly promotes an “anti-India stance on Kashmir.”
The report alleges that Turkey offers “lucrative scholarships and exchange programs for Indian Kashmiri and Muslim students”.
Turkish President Erdogan, during his visit to Pakistan earlier this year, had said that Kashmir was as important to Turkey as it is to Pakistan. “We have never forgotten and will never forget the help which the Pakistani people extended by sharing their own bread during our War of Independence. And now, Kashmir is and will be the same for us,” he had said.
The EurAsian Times has already reported citing Greek media reports that Turkey wanted militia from Syrian National Army to be relocated to Kashmir. It indicated that similar recruitment activity for a Kashmiri operation was ongoing in Azaz, Jarablus, Bab, and Idlib.