India on Saturday rejected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s speech on Kashmir in the Pakistani Parliament, asking him not to interfere in New Delhi’s internal affairs, PTI reported. Erdogan had on Friday compared “the struggle of Kashmiri people” with that of the fight by Turkish people against foreign domination during the World War I.
“Events that happened a hundred years ago in Çanakkale in Turkey are being repeated in Indian occupied Kashmir and Turkey will continue to raise its voice against the oppression,” Erdogan said according to Dawn. “Today, the issue of Kashmir is as close to us as it is to you [Pakistanis].”
Erdogan added that “our Kashmiri brothers and sisters have suffered from inconveniences for decades” and that these sufferings “have become greater due to unilateral steps taken in recent times”. He was referring to India’s abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution on August 5 last year.
“The Kashmir issue can be resolved not through conflict or oppression but on the basis of justice and fairness,” Erdogan said. “Such a solution will serve the interests of all parties concerned. Turkey will continue to stand by justice, peace and dialogue in the resolution of the Kashmir issue.”
In response, India said on Saturday that Jammu and Kashmir is its internal matter. “India rejects all references to Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “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.”
Erdogan had said in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in October that only dialogue can solve the Kashmir problem, which he said has been awaiting a solution for 72 years.