Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said onÂ Monday the world “stayed indifferent” to “mass killings” ofÂ the Rohingya Muslims inÂ Myanmar, adding that he had discussed the issue withÂ the leaders ofÂ around 20 countries ofÂ the Organisation ofÂ Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
“I have already discussed this [Rohingya crisis] withÂ around 20 leaders ofÂ the OIC countriesâ€¦ On September 19, we will raise this issue atÂ the United Nations General Assembly and will discuss it withÂ global leaders. Unfortunately, mass killings ofÂ the Muslims have taken place inÂ Myanmar. But the world stayed indifferent toÂ this,” Erdogan told journalists.
Almost 400 people have reportedlyÂ died inÂ clashesÂ betweenÂ the country’s security forces and Rohingya Muslims. According toÂ the authorities, those killed included 370 Rohingya, 13 members ofÂ Myanmar’s security forces, two government officials and 14 civilians. The violence provoked sharp criticism fromÂ the international community.
On Friday, Erdogan strongly criticized global media forÂ insufficient coverage ofÂ the violence againstÂ Rohingya and called the situation a genocide againstÂ the Muslims.
In late August, Muslim insurgents ofÂ Rohingya origin attacked security posts inÂ the state ofÂ Rakhine. The attacks prompted a harsh response fromÂ Myanmarâ€™s authorities, withÂ the ongoing clashes betweenÂ Burmese armed forces and Muslim insurgents killing hundreds ofÂ people and forcing thousands toÂ flee their homes.
RakhineÂ is a site ofÂ frequent clashes betweenÂ Myanmar’s Muslims and Buddhists. The conflict that started aboutÂ a century ago has gradually escalated sinceÂ 2011 beforeÂ hitting its peak inÂ 2012, when thousands ofÂ Muslim families sought asylum inÂ the special refugee camps onÂ the country’s territory or fled toÂ Bangladesh. Yet another escalation started inÂ 2016.
Open your doors to Rohingya Muslims, we’ll bear their expenses: Turkey tells Bangladesh
Turkeyâ€™s foreign minister has urged Bangladesh to open its doors for Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmarâ€™s western Rakhine state and offered to bear their expenses.
Mevlut CavusogluÂ was speaking at an event held on Friday in connection with Eidul Azha in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, Turkeyâ€™s state-runÂ Anadolu AgencyÂ reported.
CavusogluÂ said if Bangladesh opened its doors for Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar, Turkey wasÂ ready to cover their expenses.
â€œWe have also mobilised the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. We will hold a summit on Arakan [Rakhine state] this year. We need to find a decisive solution to this problem,â€ he added.
Cavusoglu also spoke on the phone with former UN Secretary General and the head of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine, Kofi Annan, on Friday.
Violence erupted in Myanmarâ€™s Rakhine state on August 25 when the countryâ€™s security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya Muslim community. It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards the neighbouring Bangladesh, though the country sealed off its border to refugees.
According to media reports, Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force, displacing thousands of Rohingya villagers and destroying their homes with mortars and machine guns.
The region has seen simmering tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.
A security crackdown launched last October in Maungdaw, where Rohingya make up the majority, led to a UN report on human rights violations by security forces that indicated crimes against humanity.
The UN documented mass gang-rape, killings â€“ including infants and young children â€“ brutal beatings, and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people have been slain during the crackdown.