Exercise utmost caution while visiting Turkey: Indian Embassy
Indian embassy in Ankara has asked the Indian tourists to exercise the utmost caution while travelling to Turkey.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Indian embassy in Ankara said: “The Government of India has been receiving queries from Indian nationals on travelling to Turkey in view of the situation in the region. Although there have been no reports of untoward incident in the country so far involving Indian nationals, travellers are requested to exercise utmost caution while travelling to Turkey.”
Turkey is under growing international pressure to stop cross-border offensive against Kurdish-led forces in Syria. India, responding to Turkey’s interference in Kashmir issue in support of Pakistan, voiced its concern over the “unilateral military offensive” in northeastern Syria and asserted that the action could undermine stability in the region as well as the fight against terrorism.
Reacting to Indian advisory, Turkish ambassador to India Sakir Ozkan Torunlar told ET: “Turkey is one of the safest destinations for foreigners to visit. More than 1.5 lakh Indians (equal to the 2018 figure) visited Turkey in the first eight months of this year (a 55% rise).
Turkey is expecting 22,000-25,000 more Indians by the yearend. Close to 30 Indian destination weddings (a 30% rise compared to 2018) is another evidence.
Safety of every single foreign guest is important for us.”
India started engaging meaningfully with Turkey, a traditional Pakistan ally, from 2016.
While PM Modi was among the first few leaders to call Erdogan after an aborted coup attempt in 2016, the Turkish President visited India on his first foreign trip after returning to power in 2017. Trade ties picked up and counterterror partnership started to grow.
There is, however, a strong disquiet in India ever since Turkey and Malaysia started batting for Pakistan after the special status to Jammu and Kashmir was revoked. Though most members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation distanced themselves from Pakistan on the issue, Turkey and Malaysia remained defiant.
Turkey and Malaysia are also two among the three countries that have helped Pakistan stay away from the FATF blacklist.