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Dhaka, Ankara sign deal on security cooperation, counterterrorism

Bangladesh and Turkey have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on security cooperation, counterterrorism and tackling drug trafficking.

The deal was inked during Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu’s Bangladesh visit Saturday, his Bangladeshi counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said.

“We talked about training, intelligence sharing, and ways to fight cybercrime. Also, following the signing of the agreement, the Turkish interior minister said they would extend their cooperation with us,” he added.

“Bangladesh Police, Border Guard, Coast Guard, Ansar and VDP will share their experiences with Turkey. We sought Turkish support to better equip our police, border guard, coast guard, and Ansar. The country agreed to support us whenever we need it.”

Also, the Turkish interior minister reaffirmed his country’s continued support to Rohingyas and their host community in Bangladesh, Asaduzzaman said.

Turkey is helping us in many ways to tackle the Rohingya challenge. They will even send a team to Bhashan Char Sunday to assess how they can support Bangladesh’s efforts there,” he added.

Suleyman Soylu Saturday reopened a Turkish field hospital at the Rohingya camp, which was damaged by a fire last year.

The hospital, after being destroyed in the fire, was reconstructed by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority following the instruction of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The hospital carries out 20 operations and examines 2,000 people, said the Turkish interior minister, adding that 700,000 treatments have been done in the hospital so far.

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar district and Bhashan Char, while Turkey is also hosting over 4 million refugees.