Erdogan condemns violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state

ANKARA

Turkey's president used a special broadcast on Sunday to strongly condemn violence in Myanmar.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking on state-run broadcaster TRT Haber news channel, also accused the world of being blind and deaf to the unrest in Myanmar's western Rakhine state.

Erdogan also said Turkey would raise the issue at international organizations: "This [violence in Myanmar] will be on our agenda at the General Assembly of the United Nations [on Sep. 19].

Deadly attacks on border posts in Rakhine state broke out on Friday, resulting in mass civilian casualties.

Later, media reports emerged saying Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force and displaced thousands of Rohingya Muslim villagers, destroying 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 UN report last year said there had been human rights violations against Rohingya by the security forces, which included crimes against humanity.

The UN documented mass gang-rape, killings -- including those of babies and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people were slain during the security crackdown last October.

Intelligence changes

Asked about recent changes to the running of Turkey's National Intelligence Coordination Board, Erdogan said: Senior intelligence must answer to the head of the government so that it doesn't lose its mobility.

"Thus, we gather intelligence and take our steps accordingly, Erdogan added.

Turkey's official gazette announced on Friday that the president would head the National Intelligence Coordination Board, which oversees the intelligence activities of MIT, the military and police.

Source: Anadolu Agency