Photo taken from Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar on October 17, 2019 shows smoke rising from the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain during an attack launched by Turkish army. (Photo Credit: IANS Photo)
India on Wednesday issued advisory for its citizens travelling to Turkey following ongoing tension in the region. “Government of India has been receiving queries from Indian nationals on travelling to Turkey in view of the situation in the region. Although there have been no reports of the untoward incident in the country so far involving Indian nationals, travellers are requested to exercise utmost caution while travelling to Turkey. Those requiring assistance may get in touch with the Indian Mission/Posts through the following helpline numbers: Embassy of India, Ankara - 903124408259 and 903124282195 Ext.111; Consulate General of Istanbul - 90212 2962131 and 90212 2962132,” the advisory said.
Meanwhile, Turkey has agreed to "pause" its military action in Syria launched on October 9 on the condition that Kurdish forces withdrew from an initial 120-kilometre area from the border, following a deal with US Vice President Mike Pense last Thursday. Turkey has, however, repeatedly threatened to restart its offensive, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowing to "crush the heads" of Syrian Kurdish forces if they failed to retreat. "At the end of the 120-hour period, the United States announced that withdrawal of PKK/YPG from the area has been completed," the Turkish defence ministry said. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Wednesday, also confirmed that US military officials informed their Turkish counterparts Kurdish forces withdrew from the safe zone, a Turkish diplomatic source said.
Earlier on October 20, Indian government decided to call off a proposed visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Turkey's capital Ankara. The visit was expected to take place at the end of October. According to sources, PM Modi was slated to visit the country following his visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is going to attend a mega-investment summit on October 27-28. Trade and defence cooperation were among the issues that were to be on the table during PM Modi's Ankara visit, which had been agreed to 'in-principle.'
The moves can be seen as a part of a number of measures taken by the Indian government show its displeasure over Turkey's support to Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. India has also sharply criticised Turkey's military operations in Syria earlier this week. India has already taken action against Turkish defence company Anadolu Shipyard that builds support ships for the Indian Navy, barring it from the huge Indian defence market.