Turkey raises voice against massacre of Arakan Muslims

Turkey raises voice against massacre of Arakan Muslims

Turkey raises voice against massacre of Arakan Muslims

An ethnic Rakhine man holds homemade weapons as he walks in front of houses that were burnt during fighting between Buddhist Rakhine and Rohingya Muslims in Sittwe. REUTERS photo

Both the Turkish government and civil society organizations appeared to have been alarmed over sectarian violence involving Rohingyas and Arakan Buddhists in Myanmar’s western Rakhine (Arakan) State.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged the United Nations for action in the Arakan region using an analogy with Turkey’s reaction on massacres in Gaza, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. “Similarly, today people and humanity are assassinated in the Arakan region. We call on the United Nations to take action on this issue,” he said, speaking at the “Fifth Traditional Fast-Breaking Dinner for Foreign Mission Chiefs & Ambassadors” on July 23.

Civic society representatives announced an aid campaign

Turkey listened to the voice of its conscience regarding people killed in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria when it exhibited its reaction to what happened in these countries, the prime minister said.

Turkey did not interfere in any country’s internal affairs, the prime minister said, stating that Turkey showed great sensitivity to internal issues, territorial integrities and the borders of all countries.

Chairs from the Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions (Memur-Sen) held a joint press conference yesterday on the tragedy in Myanmar under the motto “end to Arakan massacre” with the Confederation of Righteous Trade Unions (Hak-İş) and the Association for Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (Mazlum-Der).

Calling for the relevant institutions to help Muslims in Mynmar, civic society representatives announced an aid campaign, which they had already subsidized with 100,000 Turkish Liras.

Arakan Muslims were suppressed by Buddhists despite the region being their homeland, Memur-Sen Chairman Ahmet Gündoğdu said.

The Arakan problem has been an issue since the 20th century but returned to the international agenda when Rohingya Muslims began to be killed, Gündoğdu said.

Many Muslims in the region are being denied basic rights, such as freedom of expression, property, marriage and travel, he said.

“The world must also show an interest in Myanmar for the same reason they show interest in events in Libya, Syria, Egypt and Afghanistan,” he said.

He called on the UN, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the European Union and the South Asian Association for Cooperation to “take their responsibilities,” and bring the issue to the UN platform.