The government has protested against a statement published on the website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday on the execution of war criminal Mir Quasem Ali.
The foreign ministry said it has issued a ‘note verbale’, or letter of protest, to the Turkish embassy in Dhaka on Monday.
The letter conveyed Bangladesh’s dismay and stated that “such reactions are tantamount to interference in matters pertaining to a sovereign State.”
“This also does not help foster bilateral relations that exist between the two brotherly countries,” the protest note observed.
Turkey, which had earlier called its ambassador back to Ankara for consultation following the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami in May, said it had learnt with “sorrow” the execution of Mir Quasem, the chief financier and policymaker of Jamaat.
In a tit-for-tat action, Dhaka recalled its ambassador in Ankara for consultation. The Turkish ambassador Devrim Ozturk later said in Dhaka after resuming his assignment that this gesture was “just against the capital punishment” as Turkey had abolished it.
“We did not have any intention to interfere in your domestic matters,” he had said.
In Sunday’s statement, the Turkish foreign ministry said: “We stress once again that the wounds of the past cannot be healed with these methods and hope that this wrong practice will not lead to separation among the brotherly people of Bangladesh”.
Dhaka’s protest note elaborated the crimes perpetrated by Quasem Ali, one of the central commanders of the infamous Al-Badr militia force in 1971.
He was involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity, including planning, instigating and executing genocide, murder, abduction and torture in Chittagong during the Liberation War against Pakistan.
Mir Quasem was hanged on Saturday night only after he exhausted all legal options including review of the top appeal court’s verdict.
The foreign ministry said the international crimes tribunal took solely into consideration his crimes against humanity and genocide in Bangladesh, and “was not at all based on his political identity or affiliation.”