Bangladesh has announced that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Dhaka early next year. Earlier, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina invited him to visit Dhaka. Ankara-Dhaka relations suddenly cooled after 2012 over the trial of war criminals. But the relationship has warmed up recently. What is its importance in the new geopolitical context? Analyzed by BBC Bangla's Akbar Hossain.
Just four years ago, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was deeply dissatisfied with Sheikh Hasina's government.
After the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Matiur Rahman Nizami for war crimes, the President of Turkey Mr. Erdogan was so outraged that he recalled the Turkish ambassador to Dhaka.
This was the situation till 2016. But four years later, relations between Turkey and Bangladesh seem to be taking a new turn.
Just a few days ago, the Bangladesh Embassy building was inaugurated in Ankara, the capital of Turkey.
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh took part in the inaugural ceremony online and then invited the President of Turkey Erdogan to visit Bangladesh.
Later, visiting Foreign Minister of Bangladesh AK Abdul Momen met with the President of Turkey.
And now it has been reported that Mr. to attend the D-6 conference to be held in Dhaka at the beginning of next year. Erdogan will come to Dhaka.
War crimes trial and Turkey's anger
From 2012 to 2016, a kind of stalemate was created in the relations with Turkey centering on the trial of war criminals in Bangladesh.
In 2012, the then President of Turkey Abdullah Gul wrote a letter to the then President of Bangladesh Zillur Rahman to apologize to the leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami accused of war crimes.
In the letter to the President of Bangladesh, the President of Turkey wrote that the hanging of the leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami would have a negative impact on Bangladesh.
A 14-member team from an Islamist NGO in Turkey arrived in Dhaka in December 2012 to monitor the war crimes trial. The Bangladesh government then detained them on charges of concealing their identities and sent them back to Turkey.
Selচuk Kolaglu, an adviser to the Turkish think tank Center for Strategic Research, wrote in an article published in the Middle East Institute in 2019 that the country's ruling Justice and Development Party adopted the ideology of Islam-based politics in 2011.
As part of this, the ruling party in Turkey supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as well as the Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh. Collaglue.
Dramatic turn in Turkey-Bangladesh relationship
Relations between the two countries have improved dramatically since a failed military coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016. A senior official at the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry at the time told BBC Bangla that Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had sent a message to Turkish President Erdogan condemning the failed military coup.
Mr. Erdogan was having a politically unstable time.
The former foreign ministry official said Turkey had been told why Bangladesh had taken the initiative to try war criminals and that Turkey had realized that.
After that failed military coup, Turkish President Erdogan wanted to garner as much international support as possible. And so he sent the ambassador back to Bangladesh.
Selchuk Kolaglu, an adviser at Turkey's Center for Strategic Research, wrote that Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid traveled to Turkey in December 2016 to attend the OIC conference. Shortly afterwards, the Prime Minister of Turkey visited Bangladesh.
Selchuk Kolaglu noted that this has further strengthened the relations between the two countries.
Turkey is moving fast after the start of the Rohingya crisis. Immediately after the start of the Rohingya crisis. Erdogan's wife, First Lady Emin Erdogan of Turkey, came to Bangladesh to visit the Rohingya camp.
Turkey began to play an active role in the UN and various international forums on behalf of the Rohingya people and Bangladesh.
As a result, relations between Turkey and Bangladesh have been strengthened, he said. Collaglue.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey: Which way is Bangladesh?
After several years of cool relations, Turkey's relations with Bangladesh have warmed at a time when Turkey is waging a kind of cold war with Saudi Arabia, led by the Muslim world.
Many analysts believe that the situation has changed since Recep Tayyip Erdogan became president of Turkey, even though Muslim-majority countries have been loyal to Saudi Arabia for many years.
A new polarization has been created with Iran, Turkey, Qatar and Syria to compete with Saudi Arabia in the Middle East. Among them, China has good relations with Iran and Turkey.
On the other hand, Bangladesh and Pakistan, two Muslim-majority countries in South Asia, have long been known as close to Saudi Arabia. But recently, Pakistan seems to be building closer ties with Iran and Turkey in a new context of geopolitics.
In this new context of geopolitics, does Bangladesh's recent warm relations with Turkey send a message?
Tareq Shamsur Rehman, an international political observer and professor at Jahangirnagar University, thinks relations with Turkey are stronger than before, but have not reached a very high level.
"A very high level of relationship has been established with Turkey, I don't think so. In my opinion, it is a normal relationship. Bangladesh will not have a very good relationship with Turkey."
Professor Rehman further thinks that the ongoing cold war between Saudi Arabia and Turkey will not affect Bangladesh.
"Bangladesh attaches the utmost importance to Saudi Arabia and will continue to do so in the future," he said, adding that the two mosques, which are very sacred to Muslims, are located in Saudi Arabia.
The analyst said that Bangladesh would never lean towards Turkey by doing things that offended Saudi Arabia.
Former Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque told BBC Bangla that Turkey is now thinking globally in addition to its neighbors.
He thinks that even if there is good relations with Turkey, Bangladesh's relations with Saudi Arabia will not be damaged.
"We have good relations with Iran, good relations with Turkey, good relations with Saudi Arabia," he said. Haq.
যুদ্ধাপরাধের বিচারকে কেন্দ্র করে ২০১২ সালের পর বাংলাদেশের সঙ্গে তুরস্কের সম্পর্ক শীতল হয়ে পড়ে। কিন্তু এখন জানানো হয়েছে, আগামী বছরের শুরুতেই প্রেসিডেন্ট এরদোয়ান ঢাকায় আসবেন।