File photo of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan Photograph:( Reuters )
On Monday, the UN Human Rights Council began its 46th session. The foreign ministers of each country took turns to speak -- Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke about terrorism, the pandemic and vaccines, and the Turkish foreign minister decided to score a self-goal -- he spoke about Kashmir.
Turkey -- a country that loves to preach the world on what's right and what isn't, a country which in tandem with Pakistan -- has kept the rhetorical fire on Kashmir alive at global platforms.
Up until now, New Delhi responded to Ankara's adventurism keeping bilateral ties in mind. But this time, it pulled no punches.
On Monday, the UN Human Rights Council began its 46th session. The foreign ministers of each country took turns to speak -- Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke about terrorism, the pandemic and vaccines, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about democracy, peace and stability, and the Turkish foreign minister decided to score a self-goal -- he spoke about Kashmir.
Mevlut Chavu-Shoglu tried to target India over the Kashmir issue. He claimed New Delhi was trampling on the rights of Kashmiris. But he made no mention of Pakistan's state-sponsored terrorism in the region.
The Pakistani embassy in Turkey couldn't be happier. It tweeted the Turkish foreign minister's speech with the collusion evident.
And India decided to hit back. Seema Pujani, India's second secretary at the United Nations did not mince words.
She reminded Turkey of the UNSC resolution on Cyprus.
Turkey has occupied northern Cyprus since 1974. In 1984, the UNSC passed a resolution on transferring the area to United Nations administration.
But despite repeated calls, the Turkish occupation continues. So India decided to raise the issue.
The statement said, "As regards the remarks made by turkey, we find them completely unacceptable. It is ironical for a country which has trampled upon its own civil society to pass unjustified comments on other's internal matters.
"As far as the subject of un resolutions is concerned, we would advise turkey to practice what it preaches by first implementing those un resolutions that apply to it."
This is not the first time Turkey has tried to target India over Kashmir. In 2017, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdpgan travelled to India.
Even then also, he sought Turkey's role in the Kashmir conflict, and tried to intervene in a bilateral issue -- by suggesting a multi-lateral dialogue.
Two years later, Erdogan spoke at the UN General Assembly, and said that 8 million people are stuck in Kashmir.
He accused india of human rights violations; then in February, 2020, Erdogan travelled to Islamabad. There, he addressed a joint session of Pakistan's parliament, and tried justifying Islamabad's cross border-terrorism in Kashmir.
A few weeks later, he made a statement in Ankara, "India right now has become a country Where massacres are widespread. What massacres? Massacres of Muslims. By whom? Hindus. How will these people make global peace possible? It is impossible when making speeches -- since they have a large population -- they say 'we are strong' but that is not strength."
And he said this being a leader who has clamped down on the rights of Kurdish Muslims in his country.
In a nutshell, Erdogan doesn't really practice what he preaches. He may have made Islam the centre of Turkish politics and the guiding light of Turkey's foreign policy. But it's all a political stunt and a tool to keep his power intact.
He brings up Kashmir to keep his domestic audience happy. And to keep countries like Pakistan pleased.
'Practice what you preach' - is the only message that India should give to Turkey.