Turkish deputy prime minister visits Rohingyas, delivers aid

Published 28.09.2017 00:00

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ distributed aid among Rohingya Muslims during his visit to a refugee camp in Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Akdağ visited the camp along with his wife Şeyma Akdağ, Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) head Mehmet Güllüoğlu and Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya after landing in capital Dhaka.

The Turkish deputy premier handed out aid packages among Rohingya Muslims and said Turkey would build a refugee camp in Bangladesh with the capacity to host 100,000 people.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has instructed the material needed for the construction of the camp should be provided by artisans in Bangladesh, Akdağ added.

He also said the construction of the camp would begin immediately after Bangladeshi officials finalize the venue.

Since Aug. 25, more than 436,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western Rakhine state into Bangladesh, according to the U.N. migration agency's latest report on Monday.

The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which Myanmar's armed forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees; Erdoğan highlighted the issue at this year's U.N. General Assembly. First lady Emine Erdoğan has accompanied a delegation of high-ranking Turkish officials for a visit to a camp for the displaced Rohingya earlier this month and personally delivered aid.

Turkey-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH) said Tuesday that it delivered emergency food aid to 3,125 Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine state, Myanmar.

The aid was distributed on Monday and Tuesday, a press release said, adding that this was the first food aid received by the ethnic group since the latest violence erupted on Aug. 25 and aid workers' access was strictly restricted by Myanmar authorities.

The Rohingya, described by the U.N. as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

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