05 September 2017

TIKA Will Be the First Foreign Body to Provide Aid to Rohingya Muslims

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke Tuesday with Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi over the ongoing humanitarian crisis involving Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence and persecution in the Rakhine state.

According to Turkish presidency sources, Erdoğan told Suu Kyi that increase in human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims causes great concern for the world and Muslim countries.

The two leaders discussed methods to solve the ongoing crisis and ways to provide humanitarian aid to the local population.

Turkey condemns both the terror and operations targeting innocent civilians, Erdoğan said, adding that incidents in Rakhine turning into grave humanitarian crisis causes public indignation. He urged Suu Kyi to refrain from excessive use of force and show utmost sensitivity to protect civilians.

Erdoğan also informed the Myanmarese leader regarding his talks with world leaders over the issue, including the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid.

Following the talks, Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın announced that Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) will be the first foreign body to provide aid to Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state.

"At the initial stage, emergency relief packages, which consist of the people's basic foodstuff – rice, dried fish and clothing, will be provided to the Rohingyas who escaped from attacks in Maungtaw and Buthi Taung to the mountain regions," Kalın said.

Citing ongoing concerns about uncertainty and security in Rakhine, Kalın said that aid will be delivered via military helicopters in cooperation with Rakhine State Government, adding that Turkey will also deliver medicine and medical supplies to those in need.

On Thursday, a delegation, which will include Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and TIKA President Serdar Çam, will personally provide assistance and first aid to Rohingya Muslims in the camps near Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh, Kalın said, adding that Turkey will deliver aid to 100,000 families.

The State Counsellor of Myanmar is the de facto head of government of Myanmar, equivalent to a prime minister.

Violence broke out in the Rakhine state after security forces launched an operation against Rohingya Muslims, forcing at least 120,000 people, including women and children to flee and seek refuge in neighboring Bangladesh since Aug. 25, when clashes began.

Myanmar security forces are accused of using disproportionate force and destroying homes of the Rohingya.

The U.N. documented mass gang-rape, killings — including infants and young children — brutal beatings and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people have been slain in the crackdown.



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