Message from the Ambassador of TurkEY
98 years ago, today Turkish Grand National Assembly had proclaimed the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. This was possible thanks to the sacrifices made by the Turkish nation and the Independence War led by Gazi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Founding Father of the Republic of Turkey. Turkish people were victorious against the foreign armies also because of the support extended by friendly nations around the world. Bengali people was one of them. We will never forget the helping hand of our Bengali brothers and sisters during our most difficult times.
Turkish War of Independence and establishment of the Republic of Turkey in October 1923 had sparked joy and inspiration for other nations under occupation at the time. Kazi Nazrul Islam, the revolutionary poet of Bengal, had expressed his admiration for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in his epic poem titled "Kemal Pasha". His name is given to the most prestigious avenues in Dhaka and Chittagong and a school in Feni as a sign of this continuing respect for what he stood for, freedom and independence.
Today, rising on the legacy of our Founding Fathers, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, both Turkey and Bangladesh are thriving countries. Our economic development trajectories bode well for a promising future. We will be stronger in every field if we develop our partnership further on this solid foundation.
Our trade is booming despite pandemic, expected to reach 1.2 billion USD in 2021. Turkish investors have already recognized Bangladesh as a land of opportunities, and begun to invest in key sectors of the economy such as energy, consumer goods and RMG. Turkish Airlines have increased the number of their flights to 12 a week. Businesses from our countries are meeting at online and offline B2B meetings. A high-level business delegation led by Bangladesh-Turkey Business Council of DEIK (Foreign Economic Relations Board) is expected to visit Bangladesh in November.
On 20 October 2021, we have launched the Bangladesh-Turkey Business Platform (BTBP) in Dhaka. Bringing together six major Turkish companies operating in Bangladesh and seven prominent Bangladeshi companies who are doing business with Turkey, BTBP will promote better relations between our countries and facilitate partnerships based on our shared values.
Indeed, our shared values date back to the times of Hazrat Shah Jalal, whose mother was from Konya, the Turkish city where Hazrat Mawlana Jelaleddin Rumi lived. I have recently visited Sylhet, the city of saints, where Hazrat Shah Jalal's shrine is revered and visited by millions who respect him and his wisdom. Konya and Sylhet are sister cities, bringing us closer.
On this joyful day, I would also like to highlight another shared value we have: hospitality towards foreigners and particularly those in need. Both of our countries host millions of refugees, 4 million Syrians in Turkey and over 1 million Rohingyas in Bangladesh. We set the standards for humanity in taking care of the vulnerable people fleeing persecution and violence. That is why Turkey is best placed to understand the generosity of Bangladesh and always stands in solidarity with the Government of Bangladesh.
In the years to come, Turkey is determined to develop its partnership with Bangladesh further based on our shared interests and for the mutual well-being of our peoples. Mutual visits at the highest level will certainly strengthen our bilateral relations. While we celebrate the 98th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey, we also wish well the Government and the People of Bangladesh on their 50th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh and the Mujib Borsho. Long live Turkey-Bangladesh friendship!
Mustafa Osman Turan
Ambassador of Turkey to Bangladesh