Aamir Khan draws ire for meeting Turkish First Lady amid reports of Turkey radicalising Indian Muslim youth with help of Pakistan

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Bollywood actor Aamir Khan who is in Turkey for the shooting of Laal Singh Chaddha on Sunday met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s wife Emine Ergogan.

This meeting comes in the backdrop of Turkey’s increasing anti-India and pro-Pakistan stand. Recently, reports had emerged how Turkey has been funding anti-India activities where Erdogan has been vying to become the leader of the Islamic nations.

As per the report, the expansionist Turkish government, is seeking to establish its dominance in the Islamic world through its conservatism and ‘Ottoman traditions’. It plans to achieve this by exerting its influence on South Asian Muslims. According to officials familiar with the security assessment, an extensive review was carried out to unearth the escalated anti-India activities that are perpetrated by Turkey in coordination with the deep state in Pakistan.

Erdogan sponsoring religious seminars in India

Reportedly, Erdogan is now funding religious seminars in India to radicalise Muslims. This includes taking them on a full-expense covered trip to Turkey for further indoctrination. “We are also aware of some people from this group travelling to Qatar to meet some people from Turkey to seek funding for their activities. That amounts as high as Rs 40 lakh is being offered to preach radical Islam in Kerala,” a government official was recently quoted as saying.

Turkish officials funded Anti-CAA protests, Zakir Naik

According to the report, Pakistani and Turkish officials had also funded hate preacher Zakir Naik, who has been accused of inciting and radicalising Indian Muslims, with the help of Qatar. Besides criticising India over the humanitarian Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the subsequent riots, the Turkish government had reportedly pumped in funds to prolong the protests. Reportedly, the government in Turkey have been funding separatist leader in Kashmir, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, for several years. The Turkish government has also disbursed funds to a radical Islamist organisation in Kerala from time to time, the report further stated.

Turkey is the new ‘Dubai’ for ISI

According to officials quoted in the HT report, Turkey has now become ‘Pakistan’s Dubai’, a safe haven for the intelligence agency ISI between 2000 and 2010. Reportedly, ISI had been successful in radicalising Indian Muslims in UAE, including the founders of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen. However, due to improved bilateral relations between India and UAE since 2014, the Gulf country is no longer the hub for anti-India activities.

Congress opened office in Turkey?

In November 2019, the Turkish media had reported that Congress’ Indian Overseas Congress (IOC) has issued a press statement about opening an office in Istanbul. One Muhammad Yusuf Khan was reported to be heading this office in Turkey. The reports of Congress opening an office there had come just days after Erdogan mirrored Pakistan’s stand over Kashmir in open defiance to India’s interests in the UN.

Turkey criticised India over Kashmir

In 2019, during an address at the United Nations post the abrogation of Article 370, Erdogan was seen supporting Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir. During a joint press conference with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, he compared the so-called “struggle” of the Kashmiris to that of the fight of the Turks against foreign occupation during the First World War. However, India’s Ministry of External Affairs warned Erdogan to not interfere in India’s internal affairs. The then spokesperson of the MEA, Raveesh Kumar, had stated, “India rejects all references to Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India”.

Pakistan-Turkey, a new love affair

Recently, Turkish period drama Ertugrul, which talks about the Turkish Caliphate, has won Pakistani hearts. Pakistanis have been hyperventilating over the dreams of an Islamic mega-kingdom led by Turkey where they hope Pakistan will gain some much-desired prominence. Recently, after converting the Hagia Sophia to a mosque, Erdogan had vowed to ‘liberate’ the Al-Asqa mosque from Israel.

Netizens fume over Aamir Khan meeting Emine Erdogan

In 2018 when Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyuhu had visited India, the Aamir Khan, along with Shah Rukh and Salman stayed away from meeting him.

Despite Erdogan’s anti-India stand, Aamir Khan meeting the wife of Turkish President didn’t go down too well with Indians.

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