PM Hasina seeks Turkish cooperation in Rohingya repatriation


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (Dec 27) sought robust Turkish investment alongside cooperation in sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas as Ankara’s ambassador in Dhaka Mustafa Osman Turan paid a farewell call on her, a PMO spokesman said.

“I call for larger Turkish investment in Bangladesh,” PM’S Speech Writer M Nazrul Islam quoted her as saying at a media briefing following the call on at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Dhaka.

Sheikh Hasina also sought Turkish assistance in overcoming Bangladesh challenges on its way to be a developing country from the least development one.

Sheikh Hasina expected the next Bangladesh-Turkey Joint Economic Group meeting be held within a short time to discuss about cooperation in the areas of trade, businesses and other issues.

The last meeting of the Group was held in Istanbul in 2019.

The spokesman said the premier reviewed the existing and historic ties between the two countries as she sought the relations to be strengthened further particularly in the economic arena.

“Our ties are historic and cultural,” she said.

According to the spokesman the premier simultaneously urged the Turkish government to put pressure on Myanmar to bring back their nationals while the envoy assured her of giving all sorts of cooperation in Rohingya repatriation by his government.

Turan said Turkish businessmen expressed their interest to come up with more investments in Bangladesh in view of the facilities it extended and particularly to take advantage of the economic zones.

He said two Turkish companies have so far invested $US850 million in economic zones in Bangladesh this year. Turan said his country was eager to extend cooperation to Bangladesh’s defence sector.

The envoy said his country was interested to set up a super special hospital in Bangladesh and sought a suitable place for the facility.

The premier appreciated the proposed Turkish defence cooperation and the interest in setting of the special health facility saying her government could provide a piece of land for the hospital at Purbachal area or near the Padma Bridge site.
The Turkish envoy however expressed his country’s keenness to take the idea of Smart Bangladesh and work together to build the Smart Bangladesh.

He hoped that Sheikh Hasina would be voted to power in the next general election.

The prime minister said that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founding father of the modern Turkey, is very popular in Bangladesh and Kamal has now become a “household name” here.

She said her younger brother Kamal was named after Kemal.

The Turkish envoy said during his stay in Bangladesh, he was overwhelmed by Bangladesh’s inclusive culture and particularly by the influence of Sufism that teaches the values of tolerance in society.

He particularly referred to his feelings that he developed after visiting Lalon’s Akhra in Kushtia.

He proposed building links between universities of the two countries to spread sufism.

Ambassador at Large M Ziauddin and PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present, among others.

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