ADDS DETAILS OF FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT
By Gozde Bayar and Zehra Nur Duz
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey expressed concern Monday that India's unilateral decision to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution which grants a special status to the disputed Kashmir region is likely to increase tensions.
“We are concerned that the annulment of Article 370 of the Constitution of India on 5 August 2019 which accords a special status to Jammu-Kashmir could further increase existing tensions,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Turkey is ready to contribute to efforts to reduce tensions in the region if the parties agree, the statement stressed.
“We sincerely hope for the resolution of the problem through dialogue and within the framework of the relevant UN resolutions by observing the legitimate interests of all people of Jammu-Kashmir as well as Pakistan and India,” it added.
Since 1947, Jammu and Kashmir have enjoyed special provisions to enact their own laws. The provisions also protected their citizenship law, which disallowed outsiders to settle in and own land in the territory.
The Himalayan region is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought wars in 1948, 1965 and 1971, two of them over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.