Turkey continues to support Rakhine Muslims

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ANKARA
Published 16.08.2019 00:18
Updated 16.08.2019 11:23

Turkey has been carrying out active and strong diplomacy at the table and on the ground to help Rakhine Muslims, Turkey's Ambassador to Myanmar Kerem Divanlıoğlu said.

"Turkey is one of the countries implementing projects with its own resources," Divanlıoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA).

Divanlıoğlu stressed that Ankara pioneers support for Rakhine Muslims in the international arena in three fields: keeping their problems on the agenda of international organizations, such as the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC); providing humanitarian support for urgent needs; and dialogue with Myanmar's government on the issue.

The Myanmar government has long been blamed for genocide against the minority Muslim Rohingya community in the western Rakhine State. The exodus of Rohingya began in August 2017 after Myanmar security forces launched a brutal crackdown following attacks by an insurgent group on guard posts. The scale, organization and ferocity of the operation led to accusations from the international community, including the U.N., of ethnic cleansing and genocide. Rohingya Muslims are the most persecuted minority in the world, according to U.N. figures and continue to suffer from oppression under the Myanmar government, the army and Buddhist extremists. The Turkish ambassador said the priority should be the return of the nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims living in dire conditions to their homeland in Myanmar. "Rohingya Muslims don't want to return Myanmar without security guarantees and the determination of their legal status," Divanlıoğlu said.

Over the past decade, thousands of Rohingya have been killed since violence broke out in 2008, causing hundreds of thousands to flee their homeland for Bangladesh, Malaysia and other countries in the region. At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine State between Aug. 25 and Sept. 24, 2017, according to Doctors without Borders (MSF). Turkey geared up efforts to revive the lives of the persecuted Rohingya as the country has so far reached out to at least 700,000 Rohingya Muslims with humanitarian aid.

Charities, state-run organizations and individuals set up camps, hospitals and water wells and distributed aid to the community. In one year, more than 2,000 tons of food packages were delivered to the displaced Rohingya Muslims. Some 165,000 people received free medical treatment and more than 300,000 others received psychiatric treatment to cope with what they suffered at the hands of poverty, military oppression and other misfortunes in Myanmar.

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