Rising influence of Turkey in J&K alarms security agencies

    27-Dec-2020   
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Trying to be the global head of the Islamic world, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been constantly trying to interfere in the Kashmir issue. Massive funding by the Turkish Islamic organisations for carrying out anti-India activities in Kashmir and state-sponsored TRT news peddling news against India, have alarmed the Indian security agencies. These activities have increased post after the abrogation of article 370 and the decreased number of militancy in Kashmir valley. They also suspect certain student organisations carrying out Turkish propaganda in Indian campuses.
 
“One of the most prominent and powerful Turkey-based NGO, which has a worldwide presence and most of its units are located abroad, was found to be indulging in anti-India activities. During last Ramadan,the organisation distributed food and money in the form of zakat in J&K. It also organised a charity programme on Eid. Organisation's unit in Germany also conducted charity for Kashmir and extended its support for the separatist elements” said a senior officer deployed in the Central security establishment, reported Zee News.
 
An important NGO with major significance in India is Hayder foundation. It organises ‘Yesevi Supper’, based on the organisation's Turkish name, all over India. They play an important role in promoting political Islam and gather support for the Turkish president. Security agencies have also noted that many Turkish organisations have made their presence throughout J&K. Dora Kubra Yildiz - a prominent member of Erdogan’s party and office bearer of Turkish NGO ‘One Packet of Happiness’, claimed to organise a hand-pump charity in Kashmir in July 2020.
 
Indian students, mainly from J&K, studying in Turkey have become an easy target of Islamic fundamentalist organisations. They organise programs where these students are invited to attend and deliver speeches.“Once the students reach Turkey, they get associated with these two organizations and most of them end up as active cadres. Since the past few years, the number of Kashmiri students receiving scholarships by these organisations has significantly increased. Further, upon the return of these students back to India, they act as ambassadors of Erdogan’s party and further contribute to the selection process for scholarship, besides other things. The Turkish Embassy in India ensures maintaining a perennial contact with these students,” a source aware of the developments told Zee News.
 
Student Islamic Organisation, the students’ wing of Jamaat-e-Islami is suspected to be in ally with the Turkish organisations for propagating political Islam in India. SIO’s subsidiary Islamic Students Circle (ISC) is believed to operate under Turkish influence. Besides this, Turkish missions have been able to build a strong support base in Islamic institutes and the ones that run courses in Turkish language like Aligarh Muslim University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, besides many others.
 
After the abrogation of Article 370 and successful completion of DDC polls, Islamists are unhappy with the lesser number of terror strikes in the valley. India has been able to defend its borders from cross-border terrorists trying to infiltrate to the Indian side from Pakistan. Now, the security agencies are observing organisations having ties with Turkey to put an end to the radicalisation of youth in J&K.