Turkish president says he talked with leaders of Muslim countries, UN chief over violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state

Humankind is “insensitive” to the ongoing violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.

Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan: Kurban Bayramı'na ne yazık ki İslam dünyası çok mahzun giriyor ile ilgili görsel sonucu

Speaking to media in Istanbul at the first day of the Eid al-Adha, Erdogan stated that hundreds of Rohinghya Muslims were killed, their villages were burnt and 20,000 stranded people have been crossing into Bangladesh by leaving their homes behind.

“All of these are happening in front of eyes of all humankind but unfortunately humankind is insensitive to them,” he said.

Eid al-Adha, known as the feast of the sacrifice, recognizes Ibrahim’s submission to God in his willingness to sacrifice his son.

“I, as the rotating president of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, held necessary talks with leaders of the Islamic countries and UN Secretary General [Antonio] Guterres as well.”

He said that Muslim world is saddened while marking Eid al-Adha because of violence in Myanmar, conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and fight against terrorism in Turkey.

Violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine State on Aug. 25 when the country’s security forces launched an operation against Rohingya Muslim community. It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards neighboring Bangladesh though the country sealed off its border for the refugees.

Media reports said 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 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. 

Indictment of Erdogan's guards

In response to a question on U.S.’ recent move to indict Erdogan’s security guards, he said, “This is completely a scandal. It is clearly a scandalous sign of how justice works in America.”

The country’s justice department issued on Tuesday new indictments against Erdogan’s security guards for “attacking protesters” in Washington DC during Erdogan’s visit to the country in May this year.

15 of 19 people identified as Turkish security guards were charged ‘over their roles in violence’ on May 16. 

He said that he would meet U.S. President Donald Trump separately on the issue if he gets a chance during his next visit.

The foreign and justice ministries of Turkey continue holding talks on this issue, the president said, adding: “These developments in America are not good.”

AA