Turkish FM hits out over Rohingya ‘persecution’

ANKARA

Rohingya Muslims are under systematic oppression and persecution, a situation which needs a permanent solution, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara with his Maldivian counterpart Mohamed Asim, Cavusoglu condemned mass civilian casualties caused amid security force raids against Rohingya insurgents.

On Monday, European Rohingya Council spokeswoman Anita Schug told Anadolu Agency that between 2,000-to-3,000 Muslims had died in Rakhine state, in what she described as a slow-burning genocide.

Cavusoglu said: "In the past, there were serious attacks against the Rohingya, but the problem is systematic. Our Rohingya brothers and sisters have been under pressure and persecution and deported."

He emphasized that regional countries had a significant role in resolving the problem and stated that Indonesia and Malaysia had provided support to Rakhine Muslims.

Cavusoglu called on the international community and Islamic countries to be more sensitive about this inhuman treatment.

"We also call on the Muslim countries and their heads from here. We should not remain silent in this regard. Let's show our sensitivity.

Let's make the necessary warnings against Myanmar, and if they are sincere, let's support them. All institutions like the United Nations, UN Refugee Agency and International Organization for Migration should take solid steps for a solution," he added.

Deadly attacks on border posts in western Myanmar's 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 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 security clampdown launched in October last year in Maungdaw, where Rohingya form 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 that of babies and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people were slain during the operation.

Mohamed Asim pointed to the significance of Turkey's role in international platforms and praised Ankara's efforts to bring up the problems of the Islamic world.

Source: Anadolu Agency