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Turkiye-Bangladesh security cooperation has mutual benefits

Turkiye-Bangladesh security cooperation has mutual benefits
Turkish interior minister’s recent tour of Bangladesh gives ties new momentum, say analysts

By Md. Kamruzzaman

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - The expansion in defense cooperation between Turkiye and Bangladesh will benefit both economically and militarily, according to analysts.

Turkiye is also becoming a potential alternative source for Bangladesh to purchase military hardware and defense training.

“We have been dependent on some particular countries including the United States and the United Kingdom for military training and equipment for a long time. Now, Bangladesh has also extended its defense cooperation to Turkiye. It will be economically and militarily positive for both Muslim nations,” defense analyst and former Inspector General of Bangladesh Police Abdul Kaium told Anadolu Agency.

He said in the last decade Turkiye has modernized its defense sector and in most cases has developed self-production capabilities of all sorts of military hardware.

“Using the prevailing excellent diplomatic relations with Turkiye, Bangladesh can get all sorts of military cooperation, including exchanging of technology and joint venture production of military hardware,” said Kaium.

The bond between Dhaka and Ankara has turned into a new momentum through the recent signing of a deal on security cooperation, counterterrorism and curbing drug trafficking.

The deal was inked on Jan. 8 in Dhaka while Turkiye's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu was in Bangladesh for a one-day visit at the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan.

Khan said the deal would cover military training, intelligence sharing, counterterrorism drives and fighting cybercrimes.

Bangladesh police, Border Guard Bangladesh, Coast Guard and paramilitary auxiliary force Ansar and VDP would be provided all sorts of possible support by Turkiye in time of need under the deal.

The South Asian delta nation of 170 million has become the fourth-largest arms buyer from Turkiye and has reportedly received up to $60 million worth of weapons from Turkiye of roughly $1 billion in defense products exports during the first four months of 2021.

Roketsan, a major Turkish weapons manufacturer and defense contractor, delivered the first batch of the TRG-300 Kaplan missile system with a range of 300 kilometers (186 miles) to Bangladesh in June 2021, according to a report published by Defense Technology of Bangladesh-DTB, a popular social media page on Bangladesh’s defense.

A 41-member team of the Bangladesh Armed Forces participated in a training exercise in Turkiye in 2021. And in April last year, Bangladesh Chief of Naval Staff Adm. M. Shaheen Iqbal led a delegation to Turkiye and visited AFSAT, the state-owned military contractor site that contains 27 ordnance factories and three public naval shipyards, according to Bangladesh’s army’s mouthpiece, Inter-Services Public Relations.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Shafiuddin Ahmed, accompanied by seven army officials, also visited AFSAT in August last year, said the report, adding that the Bangladesh navy is implementing the national frigate program and “fitting Turkish naval guns aboard its newly built Padma class (Batch II) coastal patrol craft and refitting existing warships.”

- Mutual benefits

Professor of international relations at Dhaka University, Imtiaz Ahmed, told Anadolu Agency that despite the ups and downs between Bangladesh and Turkiye, both nations have been going through a warm course for the last couple of years.

“Both Muslim states have realized that through honoring and sharing with each other, both can be benefitted hugely,” said Ahmed.

He said with time, Turkiye has developed its defense sector, keeping pace with the modern world and so Bangladesh can have huge defense support from its historical ally.

Bangladesh Armed Forces have been implementing an ambitious mega project to promote its defense system to the level of developed nations by 2030 -- Forces Goal 2030.

As part of the project that was initiated in 2009 and revised in 2017, authorities have been increasing the defense budget every year. It adopted a $4.45 billion military budget for fiscal year 2021-22.

Ahmed said both countries can gain huge mutual benefits in cooperation in many sectors like defense, tourism and education.

During a recent exchange with Bangladeshi journalists, Turkish Ambassador in Dhaka Mustafa Osman Turan said: “Currently there are several conversations between Turkish companies and Bangladeshi counterparts.”

He added that Turkiye already delivered multi-launcher rockets to Bangladesh while Ankara is ready to have joint ventures in shipbuilding not only for military purposes but also for non-military services.

- Strong Turkiye, Bangladesh

Turkiye's interior minister also said that for a strong and peaceful world, Turkiye and Bangladesh should be stronger.

“If a strong Bangladesh is established, a strong Turkiye will be established and if a strong Turkiye is established, a strong world will be established,” Soylu said while visiting Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

A former police chief and defense analyst, AKM Shahidul Haque, told Anadolu Agency that both states are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and Arab League and have a very long and historic bond as Muslim friends.

“Turkiye has advanced a lot in the defense sector and so Bangladesh can approach Ankara more strongly for technology transfer and other defense cooperation using the existing outstanding relations,” he said.

source: News Feed
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