India-Turkey ties: Room for repair

India-Turkey ties: Room for repair
India-Turkey ties: Room for repair

Editorial

There is room for repair in the Turkey-India relationship, but Turkey will need to work on softening the rough edges first.
While analysis on the current fragile state of bilateral ties between India and Turkey may abound, due to recent malfunctions, both stakeholders should not take a step backwards to erase 30 years of robust diplomacy and consensus on a variety of issues. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo an's views on the Kashmir issue, in aligning himself with Pakistan, reveals ignorance of history. An autocrat himself, Erdo an declared that India's handling of the Jammu and Kashmir situation, and the alleged struggle of the Kashmiri people, could be compared to that of the fight by Turkey during World War 1. Through such a pronouncement Erdo an has supported a government which promotes the use of terrorism as a state policy. New Delhi was quick to remind Ankara about that in an official rebuke. Bilateral ties between India and Turkey was positive till last year, with the best yet to come. There are many reasons for India and Turkey to be friends. But there is one central argument: trade between the two countries stood at $8 billion in 2017-2018. This was agonisingly close to the $10 billion target earmarked to be achieved by 2020. Ankara's injudicious lobbying for Pakistan notwithstanding, it should work with India in softening out the rough edges in their current relationship. There is room for repair rather than see the current impasse as a case of missed opportunities. Erdo an wants to navigate Turkey into the upper echelons of the league of nations. Collaboration with the world's largest functioning democracy would stand him in good stead on this journey.

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