Before arriving the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in India for an official visit in May, it was reported that he had called for a “multilateral dialogue” with Turkey’s involvement to resolve the Kashmir issue. It was reported that Erdogan had offered to mediate between India and Pakistan. However, Turkey’s ambassador Sakir Ozkan Torunlar on Friday said that Erdogan’s comments that indicated Turkey’s willingness to intervene in the Kashmir issue was a result of “mistranslation” of an interview that he gave to an Indian TV channel, WION of Zee, before his visit to India.
“We wish resolution of this issue (Kashmir) but will help only if asked. In his interview to the Indian channel, President Erdogan’s comments were mistranslated. He did not say that Turkey would mediate though we would like a resolution of this issue,” said Ambassador Torunlar was quoted by The Hindu.
India had also rejected “Erdogan’s offer” reiterating that the Kashmir dispute was a bilateral matter. Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs Gopal Baglay had said: “The entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India...It was also conveyed to him [Erdogan] that Kashmir is an issue related to terror, and there could be no justification for terror.”
Addressing a press conference, ambassador Torunlar said Turkey will play a mediatory role in the India-Pakistan discord over Kashmir only if “asked” by the involved parties.
He also added that Turkey had conveyed the precise translation of President Erdogan’s statement to the Indian hosts soon after arriving in Delhi on 1 May.
The channel that had interviewed Erdogan before the beginning of his visit had sent a press release saying that the Turkish leader wished to be involved in mediating between India and Pakistan.