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Turkey recalls Bangladesh ambassador after JI leader hanged

Turkey

ANKARA: Turkey on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Bangladesh for consultations after strongly protesting the execution in the country of a top Islamist leader, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

Motiur Rahman Nizami, leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, was hanged at a Dhaka jail late Tuesday for the massacre of intellectuals during the 1971 independence war with Pakistan.

Turkey’s ambassador to Dhaka, Devrim Ozturk, is due to arrive back in Turkey on Thursday, the news agency added.

The Turkish foreign ministry had already strongly condemned the execution, saying it did not believe that “Nizami deserved such a punishment”.

It said that Turkey, which has abolished capital punishment, feared that the use of such methods risked creating “rancour and hatred between our Bangladeshi brothers”.

Since coming to power in 2002, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has sought to boost the country’s power in the Muslim world well outside its Ottoman sphere of influence.

Nizami, a 73-year-old former government minister, was the fifth and the most senior opposition figure executed since the secular government in the overwhelmingly Muslim nation set up a controversial war crimes tribunal in 2010.

Turkey had last year also furiously slammed a death sentence handed to Egypt’s deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi who was a close ally of Ankara until he was overthrown by the military in 2013.

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