Turkish PM urges global campaign for Rohingya Muslims
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Dec. 20 called on the Muslim world to launch a global campaign for Rohingya refugees.
Yıldırım was speaking to reporters at the Mainnaghota refugee camp, around 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh, which hosts hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who haver fled persecution by the Myanmar security forces.
He said Turkey had been doing its best to help the Rohingya people who took refuge in Bangladesh, despite the geographical distance between the two countries.
“As Turkey, we want the international community to turn its eye to the Rohingya issue. We will continue to highlight the Rohingya crisis in the international arena … It is time to turn this [Rohingya] issue into an international campaign,” said Yıldırım.
Accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, Yıldırım distributed food to Rohingya refugees and toys to children.
“My call to the Muslim world and for the rest is that this is the end of humanity. If you don’t work now, when will you work for humanity?” he said.
“I hope that they [Muslim countries] will pay more attention [to the situation] here. If they want to do a blessing this is the best place. If they want to serve their religion this is the best place,” Yıldırım added.
“We want all countries, mainly Muslim countries, to send aid, extend their helping hand in cooperation with the Bangladeshi authorities as soon as possible,” he said, adding that Turkish aid organizations have been conducting “exemplary work here.”
The Turkish prime minister said his visit to the camps was part of an effort to draw international attention to the Rohingya issue, as well as to observe the plight of the Rohingya.
He also thanked Bangladeshi government for its efforts, support, and cooperation in the Rohingya issue, noting that Ankara is in talks with Dhaka to improve the condition of Rohingya refugees.
Turkey has requested that the Bangladeshi government provide an area to build a permanent shelter for the refugees, “but a final solution must ensure that they return to their homeland,” Yıldırım said.
Commenting on a Rohingya repatriation deal signed on Nov. 23 between Bangladesh and Myanmar, he said “we hope the deal will be implemented properly.”
He said the Rakhine region of Myanmar was “the land of the Rohingya people” and “it is their right to go back to their country without any facing any obstacles.”
Prime Minister Yıldırım also visited an under-construction field hospital in the Balukhali camp in the area.
He handed over two ambulances from Turkey to the Bangladeshi authorities to be used for the treatment of Rohingya refugees.