Indian, Turkish armies see eye to eye on vision for Asia

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ejazr, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Oct 8, 2009
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    Hyderabad and Sydney
    Indian, Turkish armies see eye to eye on vision for Asia


    Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, India's chairman of the chiefs of staff committee and chief of the air staff of the Indian Air Force, had talks at the General Staff on Tuesday.

    Interaction between the Indian and Turkish militaries will eventually pave the way for better interaction between the peoples of India and Turkey, the top commander of India has stated, while drawing a highly optimistic picture in regards to the future of bilateral relations between his country and Turkey.

    Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, India's chairman of the chiefs of staff committee (CoSC) and chief of the air staff of the Indian Air Force, was here in Ankara on Monday and Tuesday for an official visit at the invitation of his counterpart, Chief of General Staff Gen. Işık Koşaner. Naik and Koşaner held talks at General Staff on Tuesday.

    “I believe that interaction amongst countries must start innocuously, in a slow manner. We see from our experiences that military-to-military contact facilitates people-to-people, country-to-country contact without too many eyebrows being raised, without too many questions being asked. This is the best way to come closer,”Naik said in an exclusive interview with Today’s Zaman on Tuesday before his departure on Wednesday morning.

    Describing Gen. Koşaner as “an excellent man, a very compassionate leader and a very mature person,” Naik said: “He and I share common views on the general geo-strategic situation, on various world issues, on problems specific to each country and we discussed a range of issues. And I found that there was an emergence of interest, he was very keen that Turkey and India come closer and I entirely agree with this.”

    “Turkey has a strategic position as a land bridge from Europe to Asia, I think this is a thing of the past, it has no relevance today. It was relevant when man used to pass via land. Today, you have the sea, you have the air,” Naik said, when asked to comment on Turkey’s foreign policy view on Asia.

    “Turkey’s view of Asia and Turkey’s view of Europe are two different things. Turkey, in my estimation, I mean, I may be wrong, has always been very keen on joining the European Union. At that time, Europe was powerful. Surely the balance of power has now shifted to Asia. Asia is the happening place with maximum economic growth, maximum useful population, maximum rule of trained manpower, maximum possibilities for emerging markets -- and also with maximum possibilities for defense buying, because Asia has not yet [become] as civilized as Europe. In Europe, they have crossed all the land borders; there are no more land borders.

    In Asia, there are potential conflict situations, therefore, defense sales, sale of defense technology in Asia will always continue. So all these make Asia the happening place and Turkey is, rightly, now changing their focus to Asia. That’s my feeling,” Naik said.

    Whenever there was a need to talk about bilateral relations between India and Turkey, a brief sentence mentioning their history of friendly relations but unmet potential for cooperation was enough. In the last few years, the frequency of senior-level contacts between the two distant countries become considerably greater, reflecting the presence of a mutual will to eventually meet that unmet potential for bilateral cooperation.

    On the other hand, when it comes to Turkey’s relations with Pakistan, with which India has troubled relations, “special, brotherly, friendly and historically rooted” are the adjectives used to describe them. “It is tomorrow, when we talk of India, we talk of tomorrow and when we talk of Pakistan, it is yesterday and today,” Naik briefly responded when reminded of the differing descriptions of Turkey’s relations with India and Pakistan.

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