Turkey sided with Pakistan against India on the Kashmir issue at the UNGA.

 

New Delhi: Turkey’s cozying up to Pakistan against India is likely to jeopardise the business interests of Turkish firms working in the pipeline sector in Gujarat and tunnel construction works in Jammu and Kashmir, sources have said.

Currently, there are nine big Turkish infrastructure companies, including Dogus Construction, Limak Construction, and Fernas Construction, that are working in the country and a majority of them are involved in the country’s pipeline and tunnel construction sectors.

According to sources, some of the Turkish firms are even working at several locations like Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Rajasthan that have great strategic importance for the country and Turkey’s leaning towards Pakistan has rang the alarm bell for officials at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

A source in the MHA told The Sunday Guardian: “As many as 16 big projects are operational in the country where Turkish construction companies are directly involved and due to Turkey’s expertise in the tunnel and pipeline sectors, Indian companies have been showing great interest in forming collaboration with Turkish firms, but the recent gesture of Turkey’s president has created a kind of apprehension in the minds of not only Indian firms who have been advocating for collaboration with Turkish construction firms, but has also alerted the MHA.”

“The reason behind the MHA’s alertness is because Turkish firms are working in the tunnel projects that are under construction that have great significance in terms of security of the country. However, the MHA keeps all its eyes open and efforts are always made to ensure that the country’s security interests are protected, but the MHA is taking extra measures to avoid chances of any compromise,” the same source cited above said.

India’s apprehension has come at the time when the Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been seen openly cosying up to Pakistan against India at the UNGA. To counter the Turkish step, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades after his United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) speech and reiterated India’s consistent support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus.

Modi’s statement is being seen as a rebuttal to the Turkish president and is significant as the east Mediterranean island (Cyprus) was split after a Turkish invasion in 1974, with Turkey occupying the northern part.

In terms of trade, India-Turkey economic and commercial cooperation has deepened over the years and constitutes an important dimension of the bilateral relationship.

 

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