Turkey eager to boost military cooperation with Bangladesh

Arms factories ready to supply military hardware to Bangladesh based on requirements, says Turkish envoy.

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Turkey’s envoy to Bangladesh said Wednesday that his country is eager to sell additional military hardware to the South Asian nation without any political condition and based on need.

“[In military cooperation] Turkey always offers joint ventures or technology transfer and it is equally applicable for Bangladesh,” Mustafa Osman Turan said at a question and answer session with Bangladesh-based diplomatic reporters at the Turkish Embassy in the capital of Dhaka.

He said Turkey-Bangladesh relations are deep-rooted and unshakable in any situation regarding political differences or state policies and Ankara wants to be a “solution partner” of Bangladesh in military cooperation.

Referring to the global trend of political conditions in purchasing military equipment, he said Turkey has been able to come out of the crisis by being self-dependent in the military sector.

“In the last 10 to 15 years we have been able to supply nearly 75% of our military equipment from our internal defense industries,” said Turan, claiming that Turkey is now able to build almost all types of military equipment.

He said his country is very flexible in military cooperation with other countries and noted as an example that Turkish drones have gained fame after they were used in Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh.

In reply to a question about specific military equipment Bangladesh has requested to buy from Turkey, Turan said defense cooperation is not limited to any particular area.

“Currently there are several conversations between Turkish companies and Bangladeshi counterparts,” he said, adding that Turkey had already delivered Multi-Launcher Rockets to Bangladesh while Ankara is also ready to have joint ventures in shipbuilding not only for military purposes but for non-military services.

He said the Turkish chief of naval force will visit Bangladesh at the end of the month while Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was likely to visit at a convenient time.

Mentioning Bangladesh as a reliable Muslim ally, Turan said after the 2016 failed military coup in Turkey, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was the first world leader to express solidarity with Ankara in a letter to Erdogan.

“On the other hand, during the August 2017 Rohingya exodus in Bangladesh Turkey was the first country to express solidarity with Bangladesh in providing humanitarian assistance to the persecuted Rohingya by sending the country’s first lady, Emine Erdogan, to the Rohingya refugee camps in the southern district of Cox’s Bazar,” he said.

In reply to a question about Turkish opposition to the execution of leaders of Bangladesh’s main Islamic political party, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, he added that Turkey is against capital punishment as a state policy. “However, the trial of war crimes is an internal matter of Bangladesh.”

On bilateral trade, Turan noted that it was only $850 million two years ago but the volume has currently risen to $1.2 billion and both states have set a target to promote it to $3 billion in the near future.

He cited ready-made garment, ship building, construction and military equipment as potential sectors for Turkish investment while Information Technology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture as potential sectors for Bangladeshi traders and entrepreneurs.


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