Bangladesh inaugurates new embassy in Turkey

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ANKARA

Bangladesh on Monday inaugurated its new embassy complex in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, virtually joining the opening ceremony from Dhaka, said her country and Turkey shared deeply rooted values and history and the opening of the new embassy would further add to their close relations.

The premier applauded Turkey’s initiative to extend a helping hand to countries struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic with medical supplies, adding the Ankara administration also provided support to Rohingya Muslims, who are described as the most oppressed people in the world.

Hasina invited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the first lady to visit Bangladesh on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary of the country’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Recalling her 2012 visit to Turkey and her meeting with Erdogan, Bangladeshi primer — who is also a daughter of Rahman — said her country “attaches great importance to its relations with Turkey.”

The formal diplomatic relations between the two nations began in 1974, nearly 50 years ago, she said and added: 

“Our relationship, however, can be traced in the 13th Century, when Turkic General Ikhteer Uddin Muhammad Bakhtiar Khiljee, conquered Bengal. The relations between the two countries are deeply rooted in shared history, faith, and traditions based on mutual trust and confidence.

Bangladesh is keen to take forward its ties with Turkey for the bilateral benefits of the two peoples.”

On her government’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Hasina noted: “Bangladesh has successfully been able to contain the spread of the virus.”

The country of around 165 million population reported 1,812 new cases and 26 deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of infection to 339,332 with 4,759 deaths. 

“Our timely and appropriate measures and stimulus packages have also been able to minimize the disastrous effects of the deadly disease. We have so far announced a set of COVID-19 recovery packages worth 13.25 billion dollars equivalent to 4.03% of our GDP,” she added.

She also commend Turkish leadership for its success in fighting the deadly pandemic. “I also appreciate its initiative to dispatch medical supplies to different countries, including Bangladesh,” Hasina went on to say. 

She concluded her speech by inviting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to Bangladesh to inaugurate Turkey’s new embassy in Dhaka.

Speaking at the event, Cavusoglu said Dhaka and Ankara have had close ties and Turks would never forget South Asian support for Turkey’s War of Independence.

Cavusoglu stressed that Bangladesh is one of Turkey’s key partners in Asia with its vibrant economy, and the new embassy was a source of pride for the country.

He noted that Bangladesh gave the international community a lesson by welcoming hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims amid one of the most difficult crises in the history of humankind.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Turkish and Bangladeshi links were based on historical connections, cultural affinity, mutual trust and respect, and both sides shared interests to see a just and peaceful world order.

“The immense popularity of Turkish drama serials in Bangladesh based on historic as well as contemporary social themes is reflective of our attachment and affinity,” Momen went on to say. 

“The opening of the embassy is like unfolding a new chapter in the already existing friendly relations between the two countries,” he said, adding he was proud to be part of the event.

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