Bangladesh: Turkey’s key partner in Asia Anew initiative

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The deep-rooted relations between Turkey and Bangladesh day back again to the 13th century, as incumbent Bangladeshi Primary Minister Sheikh Hasina described in a speech through the inauguration of Bangladesh's innovative embassy complex in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Though the two modern nation-states established formal diplomatic relations in 1974, the comprehensive relations between Turkey and the persons of Bengal have existed because the medieval era, through the latter's Sultanate, Mughal and British periods, to contemporary times.

In addition to the Mughal-Ottoman relations, Bengali Muslims supported Turkey found in its Battle of Independence found in the first 20th century. The interactions and cultural exchanges throughout record have led to substantial affect on different facets of cooperation.

Under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Get together), Turkey's domestic and foreign policies experienced impacts on every corner of the environment, when it comes to its "multidimensional foreign insurance plan." The united states has since built significant contributions to different aspects of worldwide relations, from exporting cultural affect to economic cooperation, diplomatic engagement, humanitarian aid, to maintaining historical ties or good old allies.

Key cooperation areas

In 2019, Ankara launched its "Asia Anew" initiative, which seeks to improve the country’s cooperation with Asian countries. The initiative covers different areas, including trade, tradition, defense and investment.

For the reason that initiative, Bangladesh could be a major focus due to its booming economy and strategic importance. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, for instance, noted, "Bangladesh is among Turkey's key companions in the 'Asia Anew' initiative, using its vibrant economy and little population."

The last 10 years opened a fresh dimension for growing partnership between Turkey and Bangladesh after then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited Dhaka in 2010 2010 and Bangladesh Primary Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Turkey in 2011. Those visits served the forming of the Turkey-Bangladesh Business Council and the creation of a wide agenda for diversifying cooperation.

After many years of political crisis and misunderstanding, the countries started increasing ties through the mutual visits of former Primary Minister Binali Yıldırım and Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid in 2017.

Since then, both nations have described the existing relationship as the very best it has ever been between these two brotherly states.

Bangladesh's foreign minister recently said the united states could be an excellent economic market for Turkey because of its large population and strategically important position between two emerging Asian powers, China and India. Besides, there is also the normal objective for a calm world through the watch of the Muslim ummah.

Certainly, Bangladesh's priority is always to attract economical cooperation and foreign direct investment from Turkey. Their bilateral trade quantity reached $936 million in 2018, with the ready-made garment sector spending the lead. On the other hand, Bangladesh possesses emerged as Turkey’s second-largest trade spouse in South Asia after India.

Although the bilateral trade volume has hovered around $1 billion since 2010, Turkey wants it to move up to $2 billion to $3 billion. Bangladesh has recently approached Turkey for a proficient trade contract (PTA) to expand the monetary partnership, as the EU vetoed the earlier initiative of the no cost trade contract (FTA) in 2012.

Other factors

Regarding the Turkish delicate power, Turkish Television set drama series want "Diriliş: Ertuğrul" ("Resurrection: Ertuğrul") and "Payitaht Abdulhamit," as well as Turkish media want Daily Sabah, Anadolu Firm (AA) and TRT Environment play vital roles. Besides, Turkey’s Presidency of Turks Overseas and Related Communities (YTB) scholarships and Turkish innovation in research, technology and defense can also have important roles.

It is also worth mentioning that Erdoğan’s charismatic leadership and his company stance on the Rohingya concern has helped Turkey boost its influence and impact on its ties with Bangladesh.

In the last year or two, the Turkish defense industry has seen considerable attention from Dhaka. Bangladesh has already purchased Turkish-produced Otokar Cobra light armored cars for its military.

In 2017, a Turkish strong secured a deal for 680 mild armored vehicles. Turkish security giant Roketsan in addition has signed a package to supply medium-selection guided multiple rocket launchers to Bangladesh. Also, a lot more than 3,000 Bangladeshi armed service officers have up to now received trained in Turkey.

The Rohingya issue

Turkey's role in the Rohingya refugee concern placed Bangladesh and Turkey in a good trustable brotherly relation when Bangladesh shed the support from two friendly countries, India and China.

Ankara's multilateral diplomatic attack for the Rohingya refugees, including in the U.N., G-20, MIKTA, a casual partnership between Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia set up in 2013, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), helped Bangladesh and Rohingya to provide their legitimate requirements to the world.

Most of all, Turkish first lady Emine Erdoğan plus some top Turkish officials' go to to the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh emphasized the issue's legal and humanitarian importance to the global community.

The Turkish Crimson Crescent (Kızılay), the Disaster and Emergency Administration Authority (AFAD) and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Organization (TİKA), the Türkiye Diyanet Base (TDV) and many other nongovernmental organizations have also played important roles in the diplomatic and humanitarian aid campaigns for the Rohingya.

Within Ankara's "Asia Anew" initiative, Turkey and Bangladesh are seeking more strong cooperation. In that context, security and the economy should be the two important areas to improve the mutually beneficial romance, based on faith, custom, trust and confidence.

*Senior researcher, Bosphorus Centre for Asian Research and Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University


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