An Indian security report claims that Turkey has allocated massive funds to the Turkish intelligence to radicalise Indian Muslims with the help of preachers recruited from surrendered ISIS cadres.
“Erdogan has been using the religious institutions as well as terrorism to further his single point agenda of claiming the leadership of the Muslim Ummah. Turkey’s religious institution Diyanet has already made a substantial presence in India through its activities and now Erdogan plans to exploit ISIS Terrorists to trouble India. India shall be prepared to tackle it by adopting proactive measures,” said an official aware of these developments.
This is similar to what Pakistan has been doing in Afghanistan with IS-KP. It helps in eliminating independent voices on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan, while at the same time, denying their involvement.
Media reports have quoted the intelligence report on the role played by fronts for the Turkish government accusing Ankara of efforts to radicalise Indian Muslims and recruit fundamentalists. Turkey had emerged as “the hub of anti-India activities” next only to Pakistan. The efforts are made through three sectors: Turkish state media, educational institutes and the nonprofit sector, or NGOs.
“Turkey has been providing lucrative scholarships and running exchange programmes for Indian Kashmiri and Muslim students to study in Turkey through state-sponsored NGOs. Once the students land in Turkey, they are approached and taken over by the Pakistan proxies operating there,” the report said.
The assessment pointed out that such fronts for the Turkish government are directly linked to Erdogan and his family. “Most of these organisations have direct connections with the Turkish government, President Erdogan or his family,” a counter-terror official said.
“We are also aware of some people from this group travelling to Qatar to meet some people from Turkey to seek funding for their activities,” a government official said. “That amounts as high as Rs 40 lakh is being offered to preach radical Islam in Kerala”. Besides, officials said Turkey, along with Pakistan, have also been funding Zakir Naik, the controversial Islamic preacher accused of radicalising Muslims, via Qatar, a senior official said.
Turkey is the only country that actively backs Pakistan’s Kashmir agenda in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). “Kashmir is and will be the same for us. It was Çanakkale yesterday and it is Kashmir today,” said Erdogan in February on a visit to Pakistan.
The recent open threat by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to the Saudi leadership was due to Turkey’s push and also the assurance of financial assistance to Pakistan. As India is developing closer relations with Saudi Arabia, the Indian security officials are now concerned that Erdogan is making efforts to bring down the Saudi leadership of the Islamic world with the help of Pakistan.
Erdogan has recently formed a Religious Services Directorate to use Islam to spread Turkey’s strategic influence. Its purpose is to coordinate and deliver commands of the Defence Ministry on religious services in the Turkish Army, in addition to serving as a religious counselling service.