India's recently signed a $2 billion agreement for the supply of Naval supply ships with Turkey

New Delhi: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed fresh support for Pakistan's stance on the Kashmir issue, according to a tweet by the office of Pakistan’s president. The move, just days ahead of the completion of one year of the removal of Kashmir’s special status (on August 5), is seen strengthening the Turkey-Pakistan alliance in the Islamic world.

ET has learnt that Erdogan held extensive talks with both Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi on the occasion of EiD. Kashmir and Erdogan’s support for Pakistan’s narrative on the Indian Union Territory figured prominently during the phone calls, sources said.

Islamabad wants to “commemorate” August 5--the day the Narendra Modi government scrapped Article 370--as Yaum-i-Istehsal (Day of Exploitation).

"President Arif Alvi and President Erdogan exchanged Eidul Azha greetings in a telephonic conversation. Important matters, including Kashmir and Covid-19, were discussed," a tweet by Alvi's office said.

"[The] Turkish president assured that his country would continue to support Pakistan's stance on Kashmir as both brotherly countries have similar goals," a second tweet by Alvi's office said.

During the conversation, Khan recalled Erdogan’s visit to Pakistan for the sixth session of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in February and reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to "further fortify bilateral cooperation" in all areas, according to a report in Pakistani English daily The Dawn.

Khan, according to experts on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), wants Erdogan to use the platform to champion the Kashmir "cause" at a time when two other traditional allies of Pakistan--Saudi Arabia and UAE--are working to expand their strategic partnership with India.

Last year, Erdogan had extended support to Khan at the UN and other forums following India’s August 5 move. Over the past year, the Pakistan-Turkey bond has strengthened over a host of issues--from expanding defence partnership to popularising Turkish serials in Pakistan. Khan was the first foreign leader to support the Turkish president’s recent moves on the historic Hagia Sophia.

While Turkey has been a traditional ally of Pakistan since the days of the Cold War, Khan wants to elevate the partnership, according to watchers of Turkey-Pakistan ties.

Meanwhile, Turkish cultural icons are getting popular in Pakistan. Turkish broadcaster TRT’s globally popular series "Dirilis Ertugrul" ("Resurrection: Ertugrul") recorded 58 million views on YouTube after its release on Pakistan state broadcaster PTV. After Dirilis Ertugrul was available in Pakistan, two statues of Ertugrul have being erected in Lahore.