Sagars clear the road for Advantage Turkey in Kashmir


Why It’s Wrong: Pakistan and Turkey are currently brothers in arms. After abrogation of Article 370, Turkey has emerged as the new hub for anti-India activities and for propaganda against the Indian state

Salman Sagar is the son of National Conference leader Ali Mohd Sagar, and incumbent Youth President of JKNC. In December 2020, Salman won elections to two municipal wards – Solina and Soura – of the Srinagar Municipal Corporation in the Urban Local Body by-polls. Commenting on his victory, Salman issued a statement: “We will take up matters related to development in right forums such as the SMC, etc. We will ensure that good development takes place and a stable Corporation (SMC) is in place.”
Instead of Kashmir’s development, the Sagars got busy with promoting Turkey’s illicit agenda in Kashmir.
The Sagar brothers put up billboards in Srinagar, urging all residents to Invest in Turkey. But things are not as simple as they appear.

Why Project Turkey is Wrong

Ishfaq Sagar

Pakistan and Turkey enjoy a rare bonhomie. They are currently brothers in arms. After abrogation of Article 370, Turkey has emerged as the new hub for anti-India activities, and for propaganda against the Indian state. Many Kashmiri elites, particularly from the separatist background fled to Turkey to be part of the venomous campaign against India. This includes a number of individuals related to the Geelani family.
Hence batting for Turkey in Kashmir was an open initiative to expand the Anti-India brigade. The heightened tension between India and Turkey was hidden from none.
At Pakistan’s behest, Turkey’s official public broadcaster news channel, Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) World has consistently  maligned India globally, and also portrayed Kashmir wrongly.
On account of Turkey’s hostilities and blatant pro-Pakistan state policy, ties have become strained. Kashmiris who have visited Turkey in the last couple of years were investigated by CID upon return.
Under these circumstances, it is difficult to accept that Salman or his brother Ishfaq were not aware of TRT’s real intentions when they put up hoardings favouring Turkey in the heart of Srinagar. It takes a great deal of audacity to set up the hoardings of a hostile nation in Srinagar’s iconic business hub, the Polo View maket.

How Did The Sagars Get So Much Courage?

This is the privilege of being National Conference elites. You take funds from Turkey, disseminate their agenda in the heart of Kashmir. And also stay assured that no action can be initiated against you. Because you are the Sagars, part of National Conference’s Powers That Be.
Ali Sagar is an ideologically hawkish man who has consistently professed a soft separatist agenda. The time when Sagar Sons were hardselling Turkey in Kashmir was also the time when Ali Sagar was issuing statements against the Indian state and the abrogation of Article 370. Why did Turkey bestow the Sagars with this lucrative project? The Advantage Turkey hoardings were proof that Sagars have ties with TRT and connections within the Turkish government headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It was a highly profitable venture indeed, and the Sagars used their political muscle to push it through. Former MC Secretary Sofi Akbar helped the Sagars in executing this plan.
On July 17, J&K Police revealed that Sofi Akbar is the kingpin of a white-collar terrorist syndicate. In fact, Sofi had admitted before the media of the gains that Turkey makes from its advanced training programs. 

Advantage Turkey Activities by the Sagars

In an interview, Sofi had stated that the contract for fixing hoardings was given to Alpine Company. Alpine Outdoor Media Services, Rajbagh, Srinagar is owned by Ishfaq Sagar. The four hoardings were put up by the Dubai-based immigration consultancy Olive and Figs in collaboration with Alpine Outdoor Media Service.
Kashmiris were perplexed about the origin of these hoardings.
Alpine’s contract ended on April 14, 2021. The hoardings were removed on April 17.
Enquiries revealed that Kashmir’s top bureaucracy did not know who has installed these hoardings. Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation Athar Aamir Khan had told the media that the “contract of outdoor advertisement including hoardings and billboards has been allocated to a private company.” Even after the chaos and confusion about this anti state activity, the heat did not reach the Sagars. The government must take note of all anti state activities and respond accordingly. 

What exactly is Invest In Turkey?

Turkey has an official organization to boost its economic development. It is named The Investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey.
For the last few years, Turkey has been highly keen on advertisements that promote it. Official association with Turkey offers several benefits including residence in Turkey, free healthcare, free education and visa-free travel. The investment office operates with a network of local consultants based in several locations.


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