While all eyes have been on India and China after the recent clash in Ladakh, experts have warned that the Indians should be prepared to oppose the China-Turkey-Pakistan alliance.
Over the years it has been China and Turkey strengthening their ties which have often been limited by Turkey’s membership in NATO. However, bilateral ties have been completed since China launched its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took the opportunity when he tried to consolidate his AKP Party and regain the glory of Turkey’s Ottoman past. Another reason was that Erdogan’s ambitions to anoint himself as the leader of the Muslim world saw Turkey embrace wars in foreign lands, thus putting Ankara in financial difficulties.
Crossing two continents, Turkey is strategically important to China’s BRI, as a trading and transportation hub, significantly shortening the time it takes to transport goods from China to Europe and Africa. Turkey had also launched its connection project to enter the Caucasus and Central Asia via the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway, known as the Middle Corridor.
Turkey is also a priority country with the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The bank is assisting in the construction of the Salt Lake underground gas storage project, as it is said to be the largest conservation project in the world. Turkey is also an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Erdogan has been vocal support for the Indian Muslims and Kashmiris living in Kashmir. In fact, Turkey was one of three countries, in addition to China and Pakistan, to condemn India’s decision to revoke J & Ks’s special status.
Erdogan raised the issue at the UN General Assembly. During his visit to Pakistan in February, he compared the war of Kashmir with the war of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.
Turkey offers emotional, ideological, and political support to Pakistan, while China is offering material and political support. With China’s support, the Kashmir issue has been discussed three times in the UN Security Council since August 5, 2019.
Pakistan’s persistence and Turkey’s focus has also seen the Organization of Islamic Cooperation raising the Kashmir issue more than it would have.
Considering the Islamic orientation of Erdogan and his party and well-documented support for radical and terrorist groups, along with Pakistan’s support and sponsor of cross-border terror, and China’s expansionist tendencies, the China-Pakistan-Turkey alliance is an India that should be taken care of.