New momentum in Turkish-Indian ties

India is a country which is among the fastest growing countries in the world. The IMF and the World Bank forecast more than 7 percent annual growth for the next few years. With a population of 1.3 billion, which is set to pass China by 2050, it is a country that has gone to space and is a rising naval power with a nuclear submarine.

So when Turkey is aiming at reaching out to far-away regions, India is definitely a country Turkey has to place at the top of its Eurasian radar. It is not a country Turkey should ignore because it is far away and there are no bilateral problems.

Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won elections in 2014. Since then, he has met with Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, twice (both at G-20 summits) before the latter's visit to India last week. On July 16, 2016, even when some Turks were still trying to understand the real dimensions of the previous day's failed coup attempt, Modi took up the phone to reach Erdoğan to convey his message of solidarity.

Knowing their affinity for religion and economic development, it was not hard to guess that there would be good chemistry between the two. That's probably why Modi has agreed to address a Turkish-Indian business forum, something he rarely does (the United States, Japan and the Netherlands being exceptions).

The total trade volume between the two countries stands at a mere 6.6 billion dollars, 90 percent of which is in favor of India. The two countries have duly agreed to raise it to 10 billion dollars by 2020.

Some 350 million middle-class Indians whose purchasing power has increased in the last decade are the most important target for Turkey, according to sources familiar with India. 

One area to tap the potential is the...

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