Stop the genocide in Myanmar

THE EDITORIAL BOARD
ISTANBUL
Published 05.09.2017 23:45
Updated 05.09.2017 23:46

Over the recent months, hundreds of members of an ethnic minority in Myanmar have been killed in a brutal crackdown by the country's military. In a speech delivered during Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described what was happening as a "genocide" and urged the international community to take action before it is too late. The world, including Nobel Peace Prize winner and Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, remains silent.

The world's deafening silence in the face of the genocide in Myanmar is an embarrassment. As German politicians embrace populism, the United States and the United Kingdom focus their attention on North Korea's missile tests and, sadly enough, Arab countries are busy fighting over absolutely nothing, innocent people are being slaughtered in Myanmar.

The situation in Myanmar establishes yet again that Western values only matter when it comes to safeguarding the West's interests. It is unrealistic to expect countries like Germany, the Netherlands and France, which watched the genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina from the sidelines, to take action in the face of the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar today.

The Turkish government has an excellent track record in the area of humanitarian assistance. Turkey deserves credit for what it has been doing for the Rohingya Muslims over the past few weeks. Most importantly, the country made a concrete commitment to cover the costs of hosting Myanmar's victims in the neighboring Bangladesh. At a time when German politicians are building their election campaigns around their hatred of refugees and the cost of illegal immigration, Turkey's public call on the government of Bangladesh should not only be respected by others but should also set an example to all governments.

By speaking up for the Rohingya Muslims, Turkey clearly won't be able to address the situation in Myanmar. However, doing so will deprive the West of the human rights card and help the world to see the true face of self-proclaimed human rights advocates. At this point, we can no longer speak of Western values nor European or liberal values. If you see anyone make references to such things, show them pictures taken in Myanmar and tell them to stop.

What is happening in Myanmar today offers valuable insights into what lies ahead for humanity. The great powers, which are supposed to ensure the world's security through the U.N. Security Council, are keeping silent about Myanmar. To be clear, their recklessness will not only lead to the deaths of innocent people in Myanmar but lay the groundwork for future crimes against humanity. Next time some government wants to carry out ruthless massacres in the world, they will know that the world's leading powers will look the other way. This is why we need to stop the genocide in Myanmar.

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