Turkey has once again taken an anti-India stand on Kashmir, based on Pakistani lines. The Turkish media has begun to use new terminology for Jammu and Kashmir from 5th August 2020. It has started to use the term “Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir” (IIOJK). This term was propped up by Pakistan on 4″ August 2020 — just a day before the first anniversary of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A.
However, this is not the first time that Turkey has taken the Pakistani side on the nomenclature. Previously, the Turkish media was using the term India Occupied Kashmir (IOK) for Jammu and Kashmir. Later, under Pakistani pressure, it began to use the terms of India Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) and Azad Kashmir. This step was opposed by Indian authorities and they lodged their opposition with the Turkish national news agency Anadolu Agency — an agency run by the Turkish Government.
Consequently, the agency began to use the internationally accepted terms of India administered Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir. Pakistan reached out to its friend and convinced it to use the names of both the sides of Jammu and Kashmir as per Pakistan’s nomenclatures. As a result, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed the Anadolu Agency to take a reverse gear and start using the terms – IOJK and Azad Kashmir.
The use of the new term by Turkey just after a day of its coinage by Pakistan highlights the strong coordination between the two countries. It was indeed not an instantaneous step, but a pre-planned one.
“ When other Islamic countries refrained from commenting on the issue of abrogation, Turkey came out to openly support Pakistan and oppose India’s move and continues to trouble India on it. It indicates that the division between Islamic countries is further widening up, with most of the countries supporting India’s stand that Jammu and Kashmir is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and other international players should refrain from interfering in it,” said Indian Security officer deployed in the Center Security establishment.
The use of new terminology on Jammu and Kashmir in consonance with Pakistan is definitely one of those rewards by Turkey to Pakistan in return for latter’s support to Erdogan’s aspirations of becoming the ‘Caliph’ of Muslim Ummah and help to Turkey for creating an alternative organisation to the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC).
Resorting to Pakistani terminologies and abstaining to use internationally accepted terms is a blot on Turkish diplomacy, besides being a direct attack on India’s sovereignty. It is also a move of clear messaging to communicate that Turkey has rallied its unconditional support to Pakistan and shall continue to take anti-India steps in the times to come.