Dhaka, Ankara keen to boost ties on all fronts | 2018-01-03 | daily-sun.com

Dhaka, Ankara keen to boost ties on all fronts

They aim for $10b bilateral trade

Md Enamul Hassan     3rd January, 2018 11:50:13 printer

Dhaka, Ankara keen to boost ties on all fronts

Bangladesh and Turkey are ready to take their bilateral relationship to a new height in the coming days.


The two Muslim majority countries, which are historically enjoying good relationships, are now working to boost up their ties on all fronts.


Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım transmitted this message to the Bangladesh government during his recent visit to Bangladesh, said diplomatic sources.


Though Yıldırım came to Dhaka to mainly discuss the Rohingya issue, he conveyed the message of Turkish president for enhancing ties, confirmed the sources.


As a result, the two countries want to look ahead and forget about that their bilateral ties once suffered a break centring on war criminals’ trials in Dhaka.


Bangladesh and Turkey are now working out ways to take the bilateral trade to $10 billion over the next decade, the sources maintained.


Dhaka also wants to forge joint ventures with Turkey, especially in some sectors, including shipbuilding, building of power-stations and pharmaceuticals.


Bangladesh also expressed its desire to get more direct investment from Turkey, which reached $8.16 billion in 2015.


Both the countries are also working to enhance cooperation in different sectors such as textiles, readymade garment, carpet production, education and programming.


Almost 100 Turkish companies have already been working in the aforesaid sectors in Bangladesh, according to data released by different institutions.


International relations analysts are of the opinion that both the countries need to maintain friendly relations that they have historically been enjoying for their own interests.


Talking to the daily sun, AKM Atiqur Rahman, former ambassador and secretary of the foreign ministry, said good relation is needed for the interests of both the countries as they have stronger economic and security linkage.


“We maintain good relations historically with Turkey and both the countries are among the major trading partners of each other,” he added.


Bangladeshi export items to Turkey are dominated by apparel products and Turkish carpet industry is excessively relied on Bangladeshi jute, he maintained.


A highly-placed source at the foreign ministry said the Rohingya crisis has taken both the countries very closer and has played roles in mending their strained relations.


The diplomatic source also confirmed that both the countries want to go ahead forgetting their previous bitterness.


According to diplomatic sources, Bangladesh signed an agreement with Turkey on military training, education and joint cooperation between the forces of both the nations in 1981.


As per the agreement, Turkey’s naval special forces train Bangladesh Navy’s special forces in special warfare diving and salvage.


The friendly relations between two Muslim majority countries start turning sour as Turkey expressed opposition to the trial of war criminals of Bangladesh.


Turkey first voiced its opposition to the trial in December, 2012 as then Turkish president Abdullah Gul wrote a letter to his Bangladeshi counterpart Zillur Rahman for granting clemency to the criminals.


But after the execution of Motiur Rahman Nizami, the head of Jamaat-e-Islami, on May 11, 2016, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Bangladesh.


Prior to the recent diplomatic standoff, the two Muslim countries have historically been enjoying good and friendly relations.


Turkey recognised Bangladesh on February 22, 1974 and opened its embassy in Dhaka in 1976, while Bangladesh opened its mission in Ankara in 1981.