PM Modi cancels Turkey visit over Erdogan’s Kashmir remarks; Turkey supports Pakistan

In yet another move to express its strong displeasure over Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments on Kashmir during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month, New Delhi has decided to postpone Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Ankara, according to a media report.
Modi’s visit to Turkey by the end of this year was discussed when he met Erdogan in Osaka in June last, but in the wake of the Turkish president’s UNGA speech, the tour is unlikely to happen, The Hindu reported on Saturday, quoting sources.
Even though officials in the ministry of external affairs (MEA) claimed no such visit by the prime minister was under discussion, Turkey’s Ambassador to India, Şakir Ozkan Torunlar, said his government expected Modi’s visit by year-end, the report said.
“The government of India has to decide, but it certainly is being discussed, and we are awaiting dates from the South Block,” he told the newspaper.
Rescheduling of Modi’s trip is the latest in a series of moves New Delhi has been taking to express its strong protest over Turkey’s stand on Kashmir. Turkey had come out in support of Pakistan after India revoked provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, on August 5.
During his address at the UNGA, Erdogan had said, “One of the problems to which the international community still does not devote enough attention is the Kashmir conflict, which awaits a solution for 72 years.” His call for the intervention of international community goes against India’s long-standing position that Kashmir is a bilateral issue.
Days after his speech, New Delhi, in an apparent tit-for-tat move, issued a statement, saying India was “deeply concerned” over the “unilateral military offensive” by Turkey in northeastern Syria.
India had also reiterated its consistent support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus where Turkey maintains a military presence.
According to media reports, India is also likely to cancel the $2.3 billion tender granted to Turkey’s Anadolu Shipyard earlier this year to help build five 45,000-tonne fleet support ships for the Hindustan Shipyard Limited.