ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while totally rejecting any similarity between separatist Kurds and Kashmiris has called for a negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
In a media interview in Ankara ahead of his visit to India, President Erdogan said, “If we compare apples to oranges, we will make a mistake, a big mistake.”
“We have no problems with the Kurdish people, Kurdish citizens in Turkey. We have a problem with terrorist organisations.”
“With regard to the Kashmir question, there is no similarity whatsoever. The nature of the two disputes is different,” he argued.
Erdogan added that in Jammu and Kashmir, “There is a state of India, and there is one of Pakistan, who are both in need of settling this dispute once and for all.”
Asked why Turkey blocked New Delhi’s admission to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Erdogan said Ankara had “always been supportive of India’s entry into NSG and also that of Pakistan in a similar way”.
He said both countries “have nuclear capabilities and both are right”. “Similarly we have been supportive of Pakistan too.”
Erdogan said there should be no permanent or non-permanent seats in the UN. Instead, he suggested that 20-member countries should rotate every two years in the Security Council. NNI