Bangladesh on Monday inaugurated its new embassy complex in the Turkish capital Ankara.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, practically joining the opening ceremony from Dhaka, said her country and Turkey share deeply rooted values and history and that the opening of the new embassy will further strengthen their close relationship.
The prime minister applauded Turkey’s initiative to reach out to countries struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic with medical supplies, adding that the Ankara administration has 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 100th anniversary of the birth of the country’s founding father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Recalling her visit to Turkey in 2012 and meeting Erdogan, the Bangladeshi fan – who is also a daughter of Rahman – said her country “attaches great importance to its relations with Turkey”.
Official diplomatic relations between the two countries began in 1974, almost 50 years ago, she said and added:
“Our relationship, however, dates back to the 13th century, when Turkish General Ikhteer Uddin Muhammad Bakhtiar Khiljee, conquered Bengal. The relations between the two countries are deeply rooted in a common history, faith and traditions based on mutual trust.
Bangladesh is keen to advance relations with Turkey for the bilateral benefits of both peoples. “
Of his government’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Hasina noted, “Bangladesh has successfully contained the spread of the virus.”
The country of about 165 million people reported 1,812 new cases and 26 deaths on Monday, bringing the total number of infections to 339,332 with 4,759 deaths.
“Our timely and appropriate action and stimulus packages have also been able to minimize the disastrous effects of the deadly disease. We have so far announced a COVID-19 stimulus package worth 13.25 billion dollars, or 4.03% of our GDP, ”she added.
She also congratulates the Turkish leadership on their success in tackling the deadly pandemic. “I also appreciate his initiative to send medical supplies to different countries, including Bangladesh,” Hasina continued.
She concluded her speech by inviting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to Bangladesh to inaugurate the new Turkish Embassy in Dhaka.
Speaking at the event, Cavusoglu said that Dhaka and Ankara have close ties and that the Turks will never forget South Asia’s support for Turkey’s war for independence.
Cavusoglu stressed that Bangladesh is one of Turkey’s main partners in Asia with its vibrant economy and that the new embassy is a source of pride for the country.
He noted that Bangladesh had taught the international community a lesson by welcoming hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims amid one of the most difficult crises in human history.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Turkey’s ties with Bangladesh are based on historical ties, cultural affinities, mutual trust and respect, and that the two parties shared interests in seeing a just and peaceful world order.
“The immense popularity of Turkish drama series in Bangladesh, based on historical and contemporary social themes, reflects our attachment and affinity,” Momen continued.
“The opening of the embassy is like opening a new chapter in the already existing friendly relations between the two countries,” he said, adding that he was proud to be part of the event.
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