New Delhi: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was on a two-day visit to Pakistan empathised with Kashmiris and drew a parallel between the battle of Gallipoli and the Kashmir situation.

“Our Kashmiri brothers and sisters have suffered from inconveniences for decades and these sufferings have become graver due to unilateral steps taken in recent times,” he said.

“Today, the issue of Kashmir is as close to us as it is to you (Pakistanis),” he added.

The Battle of Gallipoli was fought in Turkey between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire. Comparing this battle which was part of World War. Comparing that to today’s Kashmir situation, Erdogan said, “There is no difference between Gallipoli and Kashmir.”

This is not the first time that Turkey took a side on the Kashmir issue. Erdogan had raised the issue at the United Nations General Assembly in September last year.

Reacting strongly to the statement, India’s ministry of external affairs issued a statement urging the Turkish leadership to study facts. “India rejects all references to Jammu & Kashmir, which is an integral and inalienable part of India. We call upon the Turkish leadership to not interfere in India’s internal affairs and develop a proper understanding of the facts, including the grave threat posed by terrorism emanating from Pakistan to India and the region,” the statement said.