At Srinagar’s busy Lal Chowk area, scores of billboards have recently cropped up urging Kashmiris to invest in Turkey. The hoardings have been placed by New Delhi-based immigration consultancy-- Olives & Figs.
The company’s website states that the firm provides, “tailored solutions for business investment immigration with second citizenship or passport and economic citizenship or residency by investment programs.”
The firm reportedly operates from the UAE, Turkey and India.
The hoardings have generated a lot of interest especially since bilateral ties between India and Turkey took a hit after the abrogation of Articles 370.
A senior official of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation said he has no information about the hoardings adding that he doesn’t know when they were installed. “I am surprised at how they have come up given the strained India-Turkey relations after the abrogation of Article 370. This is very surprising,” he said.
The police are also looking at the hoardings with keen interest.
“Perhaps these hoardings are indications of changing India-Turkey relations,” a senior police official said. He further said that under the current circumstances, the hoardings might not have been installed without prior government permission.
Apart from Pakistan and China, Malaysia and Turkey have been very critical of the BJP government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and bifurcate the Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.
In September 2019, a month after the abrogation of Article 370, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a strong speech at the UN General Assembly on Kashmir.
In his address at the UN in New York, Erdogan had said that the Kashmir issue had to be resolved through “dialogue on the basis of justice, equity, and not through collision”. He had also said that, over the last 72 years, the “Kashmir conflict” had not received adequate attention from the international community.