Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Dec. 18 praised the Bangladeshi government for its efforts in “lending a hand” to Rohingya Muslims targeted by neighboring Myanmar.
In a news conference ahead of his official visit to Bangladesh, Yıldırım said the visit aims to address regional issues such as the Rohingya crisis and to enhance relations between the two nations.
“Hundreds of thousands of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims were forced to seek refuge in Bangladesh after the violence and massacres they were subjected to. I once again applaud the Bangladeshi government for not leaving them [Rohingya] alone,” he said.
“We will have the opportunity to once again underline that we are ready to make all means of contribution at the highest level in these difficult times that Bangladesh is going through,” Yıldırım added.
The prime minister also praised the long-standing relations between the two countries, stating that enhancing the “economic cooperation” is on the agenda.
As part of his official visit, Yıldırım will meet his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and Bangladeshi President Abdul Hamid.
He will also visit Cox’s Bazar in southeastern Bangladesh – an area hosting hundreds of thousands Rohingya refugees who fled a military crackdown in Myanmar – after his official meetings in the capital Dhaka.
There he will reportedly meet Rohingya Muslims who have fled from Myanmar at the camps. He will also be able to monitor the refugees’ situation and the humanitarian aid efforts being made by international groups along with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), and the Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet).
Since Aug. 25, over 626,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the U.N.
The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.
Turkey provided millions of dollars in aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has raised the issue at the U.N.
The U.N. has documented mass gang rapes, killings – including of infants and young children – brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, U.N. investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.