30 September 2019
Ankara (Turkey): Days after he raised the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he will continue to flag the Kashmir issue on the world stage, even as he launched the construction of a warship for Pakistan, the "friendly sister nation".
Addressing a function, Erdogan said the world should know the sufferings in Kashmir. He likened the situation in Kashmir to Palestine and added that "more than eight million Kashmiris are braving Indian atrocities in an open-air prison on their territory".
Erdogan declared that he would continue to raise the Kashmir issue and the sufferings of the Kashmiri people.
He also termed the relations between Pakistan and Turkey as "exemplary", saying great potential existed for collaboration in the defence sector.
The ceremony on Sunday was for the TCG Kinaliada that was commissioned for the Turkish Navy, and a MILGEM (Turkish national warship programme) class ship being built for Pakistan.
Erdogan said that he hoped the Kinaliada (F-514), an Ada-class corvette, will benefit the Turkish nation and its sailors.
In July 2018, Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships from Turkey.
Pakistan Navy Commander Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and Erdogan cut the first metal plate of the first of the four MILGEM Ada class corvettes during the ceremony.
While two corvettes will be built in Turkey, the next two will be built in Pakistan through technology transfer.
The 99-metre long MILGEM vessels have a displacement capacity of 24,00 tonnes and a speed of 29 nautical miles.
Abbasi, in his speech, termed the project as another testimony of the Pakistan-Turkey brotherhood.
Updating guests about the situation in 'Indian Kashmir', Abbasi spoke about the "toxic ideology of Hindutva in India and the threat it poses to regional and international peace".
He also thanked Erdogan for raising the Kashmir issue in his address at the UNGA in New York, saying the people of Pakistan and Kashmir were indebted to Turkey for its steadfast support.