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Pakistan and Turkey are age-old allies, with their strategic relationship dating back to the Turkish War of Independence when Indian Muslims sent economic aid to the people of the Ottoman Empire.
This longstanding friendship is the reason behind the enduring positive relations between the two countries. On the other hand, the bad blood between India and Pakistan has been persisting since the 1947 partition. The Kashmir issue has been a festering wound in the relations between India and Pakistan. As a result, Islamic Turkey has a negative disposition towards India.
In February 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the Pakistan parliament, expressing the Turks’ solidarity with Pakistan and hailing the Turkey- Pakistan Alliance. In the UN assembly, too, Turkey supports Pakistan’s claim on Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, and maintains that it will continue standing steadfastly behind Pakistan in its claims to the whole of Kashmir. Turkey also supports Pakistan when it comes to the FATF, an international terrorism financing watchdog which has been constantly criticizing Pakistan for being the breeding ground of terrorist organizations. India, which has repeatedly faced terrorist attacks on its civilians and army, has been against Pakistan’s destructive actions on global platforms like the UN. These opposing stands of India and Turkey are the cause of a fractious relationship between the two countries.
In 2019, Pakistan addressed the UN General Assembly and the speech of its prime minister was filled with anger directed towards India over the Kashmir issue. That was seconded by a speech from his Turkish counterpart, which alluded to the opinion that Kashmiris feel trapped in India. When Article 370 was scrapped in India, it drew heavy flak from both the countries, with Turkey saying it was concerned about the after-effects of the annulment of the controversial article. While criticizing India over the treatment of Kashmiri Muslims, Turkey chose to keep silent over the issue of the mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in China. It is well known that both China and Tukey are allies of Pakistan and thus Turkey will never train its guns on the friend of a friend. Pakistan, being the arch-nemesis of India, has constantly criticized New Delhi over its domestic decisions and global relations. Turkey has a similar outlook towards India.
During his speech at the Pakistan Parliament in Feb 2020, the Turkish President also defended Pakistan’s support of terrorism in India, saying the tensions between the two south Asian neighbours are a result of a slew of unilateral actions on the part of India. The constant meddling of the Pakistanis and Turks in India’s domestic and international affairs has incensed the Indian government, with the MEA stating that such comments from the two countries point to a lack of understanding of India’s history and a lack of the right approach to international politics. Due to his strong comments against India, the Turkish president has been asked by the government of India to refrain from alluding to the country’s domestic issues and conflicts and not to use them to defend a global menace like terrorism.