Erdogan Accuses Myanmar of ‘Genocide’ against Rohingya
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Myanmar of “genocide” against the Rohingya Muslim minority, who have fled in the tens of thousands across the border into Bangladesh to escape ethnic violence.
“There is a genocide there,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul during the Islamic Eid al-Adha feast, which commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son.
“Those who close their eyes to this genocide perpetuated under the cover of democracy are its collaborators.”
Around 400 people – most of them Rohingya Muslims – have died in violence searing through Myanmar’s north-western Rakhine state, the army chief’s office said on Friday, AFP reported.
Reports of massacres and the systematic torching of villages by security forces – as well as by militants – have further amplified tensions, raising fears that communal violence in Rakhine is spinning out of control.
To escape the violence, about 20,000 Rohingya have massed along the Bangladeshi frontier, barred from entering the south Asian country, while scores of desperate people have drowned attempting to cross the Naf, a border river, in makeshift boats.
Erdogan said he would bring up the issue at the next UN general assembly in New York later this month, adding that he had already talked to the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, as well as other Muslim leaders.
According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, the Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Bangladeshi authorities to “open your doors”, adding Turkey would cover the costs associated with letting in more Rohingya.
Bangladesh already hosts 400,000 Rohingya and has said it does not want more.
“We have called upon the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” Cavusoglu said. “We will organize a summit this year [on the issue] … we have to find a definitive solution to this problem.”
The UN Security Council met behind closed doors on Wednesday to discuss the violence but there was no formal statement.
On Friday Guterres said he was “deeply concerned” by the situation in Myanmar and called for “restraint and calm to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe”.
The Rohingya are reviled in Myanmar, where the communities of roughly one million people are accused of being illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.