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Turkish President's Letter To Bangladesh Denounced

Categories: South Asia, Bangladesh, Citizen Media, Governance, History, International Relations, Politics, Protest, War & Conflict

Last month [1] [bn] Turkish President Abdullah Gül sent a letter [2] to the president of Bangladesh. The main content of the letter was a request for “clemency” of the accused Islamist leaders who are under trial for crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of Bangladesh [3]. He wrote, if these leaders are punished, it might affect Bangladesh's socio-economic advancement and cause social instability and bloodshed.

A few days before sending the letter a 14 member Turkish NGO team came to Dhaka ‘hiding their identity’ and misusing ‘on arrival visa’ facilities for tourists and eventually visited the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh to see its activities. They are alleged to be pro Muslim brotherhood [4]. Many of the war criminals under trial are top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh [5], a like minded organization of Muslim Brotherhood.

It is to be mentioned that in 1971 during liberation war estimated 3 million people were killed [6] by Pakistani army and approximately 250,000 women were raped. Local political and religious militia groups like Razakar [7], Al Badr [8] and Al-Shams [9] aided Pakistani soldiers in the killings especially against Hindus [10], and many of them were members of Jamaat-e-Islami. The International Crimes Tribunal [11] was formed after 42 years of the independence to try the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity during that period.


Protests in Dhaka. Image by Youth For Peace And Democracy's [12] Facebook Page.

There has been a lot of reactions online and offline against the visit of the Turkish delegation and the letter of the Turkish President. Protests have been arranged in and outside of Bangladesh. Institute Of Islamic Studies [13] and Muslims from Netherlands [14] denounced the letter. Netizens marked this as an interference in the internal affairs of the country and acts contrary to diplomatic norms.


Protests in front of the Turkish embassy in London, Image courtesy International Crimes Strategy Forum's [16] Facebook Page.

Blogger Nijhum Mazumdar [17] participated in the protest in front of the Turkish embassy in London [18] on Wednesday, 16 January 2013, and says [bn]:

The Turkish President has caused an embarrassment in world politics by interfering in the internal legal process of a sovereign country. We had not expected such an irresponsible move from a democratic government.

Blogger Mizanur Rahman Milon [1] wrote [bn] in Somewherein:

In the last century the first genocide was caused by Turkey. During 1919-1921 around 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Turkey- for which there had been no legal trial. The Armenians are pleading to the international community for justice for the past 100 years. Many Kurdi separatists are being killed by Turkey. It is thus no surprise that they would speak for the genocide perpetrators of other countries.

Trimatrik Kobi (Three-dimensional poet) [19] reminds [bn] that Turkey had denied any hand in the Armenian Genocide [20]:

It is a farce that the country which is responsible for one of the worst genocide of the world and has a history of fascism, sends a team to investigate transparency of an internal judicial trial and reports that to its president who preaches us about justice and peace.

Blogger and writer Arif Jebtik [21] calls [bn] for stronger measures against interference in the internal affairs of the country:

As a citizen by birth I would request the government to cease diplomatic relations with Turkey. If having no diplomatic ties with Israel does not trouble us then why we should not press for not having diplomatic relations with Turkey for their unethical interference with a judicial trial?