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Why Is Turkey Aggressively Pushing For Greater Cooperation With Bangladesh?

Black_cats

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Why Is Turkey Aggressively Pushing For Greater Cooperation With Bangladesh?

TURKEY

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Analysis By Anupama Ghosh

The year 2019 saw Turkey launch its ‘Asia Anew’ initiative in a bid to boost its cooperation with Asian countries. Increasing its footprints in South Asia, Turkey seems to be fostering closer relations with Bangladesh. So what are the reasons that make Bangladesh a viable partner for Turkey in the region?
Turkey’s Asia Anew initiative is aimed at building greater interaction in areas of education, defense, trade, technology, and culture. The shift of Turkey’s foreign policy towards Asia in the past decade has been interesting.

Historically, Turkey has never shown any deep interest in expanding its influence in Asia. Since the establishment of the Republic in 1923, the country has tried to place itself closer to the West, giving more importance to its relations with the US and Europe, than with Asia and even its Middle-Eastern neighbors. But over the past decade, Turkey’s bilateral and multilateral relations with its traditional allies have been severely affected. And it is in such a scenario, that Turkey’s ‘Asia Anew’ initiative gains credence.

Regardless of its tilt towards the West, its unique geostrategic position – straddling the east and the west, and its Islamic identity – nurtured more under the present political dispensation, gives Turkey the requisite push to foster relations with the Asian countries.

In fact, much before 2019, the groundwork for its greater engagement was being laid. In order to foster diplomatic relations with different Asian nations, it began to expand its diplomatic network in Asia. New embassies were opened in Myanmar (2012), Cambodia (2013), Brunei (2013), and Laos (2017).

It has also increased its engagement in the various regional multilateral forums and international organizations in Asia.

In 2012, it became a dialogue partner for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and a sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN in August 2017. Putting forth its interest in greater engagement with the Asia- Pacific region, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially named China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea as its strategic partners in the Asia-Pacific region.

Increasing its footprints in South Asia, Turkey seems to be fostering closer relations with Bangladesh. In January 2021, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited Dhaka. Since the inception of Bangladesh, the relations between the two countries have gone through various swings.

Sharing cordial ties with Pakistan, Turkey diplomatically and militarily aided Pakistan during the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971. Despite that, Ankara officially recognized Bangladesh at the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) summit held in Lahore in 1974 and opened its embassy in Dhaka in 1976.

Tayyip-Erdogan
Turkish President Erdogan

While their bilateral relations flourished since then, the ties came to a grinding halt when the AKP ( Justice and Development Party), known for its support to Muslim brotherhood worldwide, condemned Bangladesh’s International Crimes Tribunal’s prosecution of Jamaat-e-Islami leaders for their involvement in the genocide committed by the Pakistani army during 1971 war.

New Initiatives

In January 2021, during his visit to Bangladesh, the Turkish Foreign Minister inaugurated a new embassy compound and pledged enhanced cooperation between the two countries. So what are the reasons which make Bangladesh a viable partner for Turkey in the region?

With its booming economy and strategic importance, Bangladesh seems to occupy an important place in Turkey’s Asia Anew Initiative.

Backed by its rapidly growing economy, it has emerged as an important trading partner. In South Asia, Dhaka is now Ankara’s second-highest trade partner after India, with a total trade volume of $1 billion in 2019 before the pandemic.


In recent years, Turkey has sought to provide and supply defense equipment to countries around the world, with the Turkish President stating his intention to expand Turkey’s defense industrial base by boosting arms sales to $25 billion by 2023. Turkey already delivered Otokar Cobra light armored vehicles to the Bangladesh Army in 2013 and secured $1 billion contracts for 680 light armored vehicles in 2017.

In March 2019, Bangladesh signed a contract with the Turkish Company, ROKETSAN for procuring medium-range guided multiple rocket launchers. Training programs and military exercises between the armed forces of the two countries are also in the pipeline.

In the past years, the Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar have found shelter in Bangladesh in large numbers. Turkey has rallied behind Bangladesh at major multilateral forums regarding the Rohingya issue, such as the UN, the G20, and the OIC. Institutions such as the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) have helped build various facilities such as camps, hospitals, schools, and orphanages for the refugees in Bangladesh.

Since the opening years of the 2000s, Turkey’s economy has grown by leaps and bounds, giving it the financial means to pursue an extensive and expansive foreign policy. Its diplomatic, trade, humanitarian and cultural overtures in Asia, now being taken forward under the Asia Anew Initiative may be seen in this light.

However, given its recent economic slump and its troubled relations with the US and West, it would be interesting to see how far these overtures in Asia are pursued, and whether they would bring any dynamic shift in Turkey’s foreign policy towards Asian countries.

(The author is a foreign policy researcher based in New Delhi)

 

Old School

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First and foremost reason is naturally economical benefits due to the huge civil-military consumer market in BD for the massive Turkish manufacture base. BD already has a thousand year old historical relationships with the Turks and majority of the population see Turkey as a brotherly nation. The same equally applies to Pakistan. Interestingly, the name of BD currency 'TaKa' itself has central Asian Turkic root.
 

EasyNow

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Everybody wants a piece of everybody else in this world. As long as we remember that there is no such thing as 'brotherly love' Bangladesh should welcome Turkey.

We offer a reasonable sized market for Turkish arms and goods - hopefully Turkey can offer easy visas for Bangladeshis and access to Turkish market for BD household goods.
 

bluesky

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The same equally applies to Pakistan. Interestingly, the name of BD currency 'TaKa' itself has central Asian Turkic root.
As far as I know, "Tanka/Tonka" is the word used during the Muslim period throughout India. The word could possibly have derived from the Turkic language after hundreds and thousands of Turkic/Afghan Muslims settled in present-day northern Pakistan, North/central India, and Bengal after Sultan Muhammed Ghori's troops captured Delhi in the 1190s and Bengal sometime between 1198 and 1203.

I am not sure of the then Indfian word for the monetary unit. Was it always Rupaiyah/Rupee before the Muslim period? Please, someone, clarify it. In any case, the original word Tanka remained in Bengali as TAKA, and it is Rupiyah in Pakistan and Rupee in India.

Please note that the use of Tanka has changed in both Urdu and Hindi similarly. It is now TANKA meaning salary in both languages. To me, TANKA sounds like TANKHA.

Note also that present-day Turkey is an entity different from the Turkic states/population in Afghanistan and Central Asia.
 
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Black_cats

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As far as I know, "Tanka/Tonka" is the word used during the Muslim period throughout India. The word could possibly have derived from the Turkic language after hundreds and thousands of Turkic/Afghan Muslims settled in present-day northern Pakistan, North/central India, and Bengal after Sultan Muhammed Ghori's troops captured Delhi in the 1190s and Bengal sometime between 1198 and 1203.

I am not sure of the then Indfian word for the monetary unit. Was it always Rupaiyah/Rupee before the Muslim period? Please, someone, clarify it. In any case, the original word Tanka remained in Bengali as TAKA, and it is Rupiyah in Pakistan and Rupee in India.

Please note that the use of Tanka has changed in both Urdu and Hindi similarly. It is now TANKA meaning salary in both languages. To me, TANKA sounds like TANKHA.

Note also that present-day Turkey is an entity different from the Turkic states/population in Afghanistan and Central Asia.
History of the taka
Language
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Edit
The history of the taka refers to the history of currency known as taka, tanka, tanga, tangka, tenge and tenga in many countries. The origin of the word is unclear. The currency is used in Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. It was also used in Tibet (now part of China) and Arakan (now part of Myanmar).

Etymology Edit

The name of the tenga is derived from the Sanskrit word tanka.alternatively from a Turkic word Tamga or tamgha (Ottoman Turkish: طمغا‎, Old Turkic: 𐱃𐰢𐰍𐰀‎, Turkish: Damga), "stamp, seal". Many Turkic-speaking areas in Central Asia were once centers of Indo-Iranian languages.

South Asia Edit


The taka was widely used across South Asia during the sultanate period

A pre-1971 Pakistani banknote called taka in its Bengali script. The Urdu script termed it rupee.
Word 'Tanka' is attested from Puri Kushan coins with brahmi script as (Nanaka Tanka) variously dated between 1st-7th century AD[1][2]

The imperial tanka was officially introduced by the monetary reforms of Muhammad bin Tughluq, the emperor of the Delhi Sultanate, in 1329. It was modeled as representative money, a concept pioneered as paper money by the Mongols in China and Persia. The tanka was minted in copper and brass. Its value was exchanged with gold and silver reserves in the imperial treasury. The currency was introduced due to the shortage of metals.[3] Over time, the tanka was minted in silver. However, chaos followed its launch in the 14th century, leading to the collapse of the Tughluq dynasty. The Tughluqs were succeeded by numerous regional states, including the Bengal Sultanate, the Jaunpur Sultanate, the Malwa Sultanate, the Berar Sultanate, the Sindh Sultanate, the Bidar Sultanate, the Ahmadnagar Sultanate, the Bahmani Sultanate and the Gujarat Sultanate. The new currency continued to be minted. In Berar in southern India, the tanka had a higher value than that of Delhi's tanka. Locals in many areas referred to currency as tanka even under Mughal rule.

Bengal became the stronghold of the tanka. The word tanka evolved into the Bengali word taka. Bengalis refer to any money as taka. The taka was the most important symbol of sovereignty for the Sultan of Bengal. The Sultanate of Bengal established at least 27 mints in provincial capitals across the kingdom.[4][5] The Bengali taka enjoyed a greater supply of silver than erstwhile Asian and European states.[6] In 1338, Ibn Battuta noticed that people in Bengal called their currency taka instead of dinar as was done in other Muslim kingdoms.[7] In 1415, Admiral Zheng He's fleet also saw the use of the silver taka in Bengal, according to the travelogue of Ma Huan.

The tanka spread to Odisha on the west coast of the Bay of Bengal. Epigraphic records use terms such as vendi-tanka (alloyed silver) and sasukani-tanka (bullion).[8] To the north of Bengal, the tanka standard was adopted in prosperous Himalayan Kathmandu Valley in the 16th century as the coinage of Nepal. It was modeled on the currency of Delhi, Bengal and the Mughal Empire. The Nepalese tanka was a debased silver coin struck in 10 g. weight with minor denominations of 1⁄4, 1⁄32, 1⁄123, 1⁄512. It was introduced by King Indra Simha.[9] During the 20th century, when East Pakistan and West Pakistan were in a union, the Pakistani rupee had bilingual inscriptions using both Bengali script and Urdu sprit. The currency was called taka in East Pakistan and rupee in West Pakistan. After the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the Bangladeshi taka became the official currency of Bangladesh. The Indian rupee is also colloquially called taka in the Indian state of West Bengal.

 

xyxmt

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As far as I know, "Tanka/Tonka" is the word used during the Muslim period throughout India. The word could possibly have derived from the Turkic language after hundreds and thousands of Turkic/Afghan Muslims settled in present-day northern Pakistan, North/central India, and Bengal after Sultan Muhammed Ghori's troops captured Delhi in the 1190s and Bengal sometime between 1198 and 1203.

I am not sure of the then Indfian word for the monetary unit. Was it always Rupaiyah/Rupee before the Muslim period? Please, someone, clarify it. In any case, the original word Tanka remained in Bengali as TAKA, and it is Rupiyah in Pakistan and Rupee in India.

Please note that the use of Tanka has changed in both Urdu and Hindi similarly. It is now TANKA meaning salary in both languages. To me, TANKA sounds like TANKHA.

Note also that present-day Turkey is an entity different from the Turkic states/population in Afghanistan and Central Asia.
its rupee in Pakistan and India, rupiyah in Indonesia

the term rupiyah is commonly used in both India (I think) and Pakistan (I am sure of)
 

Destranator

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Why are Indian journalists not aggressively pushing for greater toilet coverage at home instead of poking nose in overseas matters?
 
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bluesky

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Why are Indian journalists not aggressively pushing for greater toilet coverage at home instead poking nose in overseas matters?
India has a long border with BD which happens to be a Muslim-majority country, a kind of a pain in the *** for India. So, BD diplomacy with other countries, especially with Turkey, once a Muslim superpower, will come to the fore in Indian diplomacy and journalism.
 
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Bilal9

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Why are Indian journalists not aggressively pushing for greater toilet coverage at home instead of poking nose in overseas matters?
Great comment. :lol:

Karor bara bhatey chhai diley mushqil - tar uporey dada-go bara bhat. :lol:

Turkey tago ponchash bochhorer toyar market niya jaibo - shoijjo korbey kemney? :-)

One would think they'd be more worried about 65% open defecation situation at home instead of 'showcase projects' like Mars exploration just to keep up with China.

Just because they can, should they? Basic things first. :-)
 
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Atlas

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Why are Indian journalists not aggressively pushing for greater toilet coverage at home instead of poking nose in overseas matters?
Keu amare mairala ! Eker por ek aggressively genius comments kortechen ajkal! Ekebare white wash!

:omghaha: :omghaha:
 
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Destranator

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off topic. but why wont Turkey try to gain a foothold in Bangladesh? shows like Ertugrul, Sultan Abdul Hammid and others were pretty popular in Bangladesh.
Bingo. Popular to the point where the current President's parents named him Abdul Hamid. :lol:
Keu amare mairala ! Eker por ek aggressively genius comments kortechen ajkal! Ekebare white wash!

:omghaha: :omghaha:
Mama, PDF BD section e comment korte genius howa lage na. Akekta thread emnitei comedy.
 

PakistaniAtBahrain

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bangalis are not related to turks , pakistanis are related to turks .
bangalis dont need to be related to turks for a good bond to be there between them in the future. pakistanis are not related to turks either, but there is a strong bond between Pakistan and Turkey. i wont expect a kafir to understand.
 

Atlas

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Mama, PDF BD section e comment korte genius howa lage na. Akekta thread emnitei comedy.
Eita obossho khati kotha bolechen! Ei section manei ofuronto binodon, zodi matha thanda rakha zay! @DalalErMaNodi matha Thanda thanda rakhte pare na bolei 2 din unban theke 1 mas ban thake bolei mone hoy amar. So sad!
 
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