I have completed three years of diplomatic service in Bangladesh and will leave here on February 11. I will be based in Ankara.
I leave Bangladesh with many memories to cherish. Despite the pandemic, I travelled in Bangladesh extensively, made many friends in all segments of society including on the golf courses.
Bilateral political, economic and cultural ties between Bangladesh and Turkiye are now stronger than ever. Our trade volume and investments in Bangladesh have been doubled. Bangladesh is now among the top five countries with which we have intense defence industry cooperation.
In terms of people-to-people contacts, Istanbul has been one of the top tourist destinations for Bangladeshis. I am sure that our visit to Antalya has contributed to that result. As you all know, Turkish TV drama series continue to be very popular here, having a sweet competition with the Korean ones.
So I leave with a sense of fulfilment both personally and professionally.
Bangladesh has also been a country where I started new hobbies. Thanks to Brigadier General Manzur Qader (Retd.), I started to play golf, became the president of Tiger Golf Club and took our members to Antalya and Chattogram for golf tournaments. I thank each and every one of TGC, who attended those journeys. In terms of my progress in golf, although my handicap is still at beginner’s level, I am losing less balls, making more bogeys and can even take two balls out of the bunker with one shot now.
I also started to ride a motorbike and even tried a Pathao motorbike service to catch an appointment.
I was a basketball player in my high school years. I restarted to play basketball in Bangladesh, thanks to the Deshi ballers and coached Dhaka Club’s women’s basketball team in a tournament. One more item in my bucket list was ticked in Bangladesh.
I am leaving Bangladesh also with a nickname and a new title. My surname Turan is frequently mispronounced as “Torun” which means young in Bangla as you know. So I never corrected it and finally adopted it as my nickname. I couldn’t leave Bangladesh without a nickname.
Finally, I am taking with me a new title too: “Brand Ambassador of Bangladesh” which has been given to me informally by colleagues at A2i, innovation agency of Bangladesh. Since they follow my social media very closely, they realised I share more about life in Bangladesh than in Turkiye. And I do it with pleasure. With this new title, I will continue to tell the story of Bangladesh and help rebrand the country not only as the land of opportunities but also a country where talented, warm and hospitable people are in abundance.
In fact, before I came to Bangladesh I thought that Turkey was the most hospitable place in the world. After three years of experience, I think Bangladesh can easily compete with us on that front.
Friends, whenever you come to Turkiye you will find a home and a friend to visit and cherish our good memories. However, I have a feeling that before we miss each other, you may see me in Bangladesh again.
Take care. See you soon.