World silence on Myanmar violence is ‘picture of shame’: Turkish presidential spokesman
The international community has the responsibility to formulate a long-term solution to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Friday.
“Turkey will continue to maintain its constructive and determined attitude for a solution,” Kalin said in a Twitter post.
He called “the world’s silence” in the face of the persecution of Rohingya Muslims by security forces of the southeast Asian country “a portrait of shame.”
Turkey is continuing “our intensive efforts and initiatives at every level to end the humanitarian tragedy” in Rakhine, according to the president’s aide.
He noted that Turkish humanitarian aid agencies, including the Turkish Red Crescent, Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), and Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), are involved in these efforts.
Turkish authorities are in contact with authorities in Myanmar and Bangladesh -- where thousands of Rohingya have fled -- to supply humanitarian aid to the Rohingya people, Kalin stressed.
Violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Aug. 25 when the country’s security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya Muslim community. It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards neighboring Bangladesh, though the country sealed off its border for the refugees.
Media reports said 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 crackdown launched last October in Maungdaw, where Rohingya make up the majority, led to a UN report on security forces’ human rights violations and crimes against humanity.
The UN documented mass gang-rape, killings -- including infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said that some 400 people have been slain during the crackdown.