Turkey’s foreign minister has urged Bangladesh to open its doors for Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state and offered to bear their expenses.
Mevlut Cavusoglu was speaking at an event held on Friday in connection with Eidul Azha in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Cavusoglu said if Bangladesh opened its doors for Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar, Turkey was ready to cover their expenses.
“We have also mobilised the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. We will hold a summit on Arakan [Rakhine state] this year. We need to find a decisive solution to this problem,” he added.
Cavusoglu also spoke on the phone with former UN Secretary General and the head of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine, Kofi Annan, on Friday.
Violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on August 25 when the country’s security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya Muslim community. It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards the neighbouring Bangladesh, though the country sealed off its border to refugees.
According to media reports, 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 security crackdown launched last October in Maungdaw, where Rohingya make up the majority, led to a UN report on human rights violations by security forces that indicated crimes against humanity.
The UN documented mass gang-rape, killings – including infants and young children – brutal beatings, and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people have been slain during the crackdown.