Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan has said holding a free and fair election in Bangladesh is not an issue for foreigners but it depends entirely on Bangladesh and its people.

"It's only for Bangladesh to decide whether the election will be free and fair, not for the foreigners," he said while speaking at a "Meet the Ambassador" programme in a Dhaka hotel on November 16, 2022.

Referring to election related comments made by the Awami League and BNP representatives at the event, the Turkish ambassador said political parties need to sit down and talk to each other to address their differences, and that the government alone cannot solve all the issues.

"I understand your positions. I think instead of sharing your views with me, you should sit down and talk to each other. That's what I am suggesting," he said in a smiling mood that spread among the audience, too.

Earlier, Nurjahan Begum Mukta, a former AL lawmaker, wanted to know whether he will force any party to join in the election if it does not come to the election in his own country.

The envoy said there must be willingness to make an election that works for the benefit of the country. "I know there are issues which can be addressed."

The ambassador said they are hoping that the government of Bangladesh will live up to the expectation of all people.

"I think the next 5-10 years will be much brighter for Bangladesh if it can hold the next national election in line with the people's expectation," he said.

The envoy said he sees both the government and the election commission are trying to do their best to create a possibility of participation for the opposition parties in the election.

Because, he said, it will be a missed opportunity for Bangladesh to have a free and fair election without participation of the opposition parties.

The Turkish envoy said what is happening in Bangladesh is something that the people of Bangladesh will have to deal with.

He said Bangladesh-Turkey relationship is long-term in nature and it is based on solid collaboration and partnership.

The ambassador said relations between Bangladesh and Turkey are based on trust and they look forward to broadening partnership with Bangladesh. "We are always with the people of Bangladesh in their good and bad times."

Responding to a question, Ambassador Turan said they see Bangladesh as a "trustworthy manufacturing hub", and it is going to be their prominent partner in the region.

The envoy said Turkey plans to diversify their trade and investment in Bangladesh.

Asked about Turkish plans to develop strategic relations with Bangladesh, he said the plans should be mutually agreed upon.-

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