Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Emine Erdoğan, the Turkish prime minister’s wife, on Friday visited Rohingya Muslims staying in the Banduba refugee camp in the Myanmar coastal state of Rakhine.
Apart from the United Nations, this is the first instance of foreign aid being distributed to refugees in need in the region by another nation. The Turkish Red Crescent briefed Davutoğlu and Erdoğan about conditions at the camp during their visit. Turkish Red Crescent staff stated that there are 8,532 people sheltering in the camp and there are currently only 801 tents. The Turkish Red Crescent is delivering boxes of food. When Erdoğan asked what the biggest problem was for the refugees, Turkish Red Crescent officials said those in the camp struggle with finding suitable accommodation and suffer from malnutrition. Later, Davutoğlu and Erdoğan headed to a Buddhist camp and distributed aid packages there as well. Upon learning of the difficulties faced by the Buddhists as well, Davutoğlu said people all have equal rights and he would like to see Muslims and Buddhists living together in peace.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster & Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) has stated that so far they have collected TL 3.4 million in their aid campaign for Muslims in Myanmar.
The AFAD thanked Turkish citizens for supporting their Muslim brothers and sisters suffering from civil war, ethnic massacre and poverty in the Arakan region of Myanmar.
Official statistics say more than 1,000 Rohingya Muslims living in Myanmar have been killed and more than 90,000 left homeless due to the violence that Rohingya Muslims have been facing since June. According to the Vatan daily, the slaughter of Muslims intensified just before the high-level Turkish delegation visit to Myanmar on Thursday.
Following the bloody ethnic massacre, Muslims in the Arakan region have fled across the river between Myanmar and Bangladesh, although Bangladesh authorities have refused to accept any more refugees into its territory because the country is not able to cope with a further influx of refugees.