Recep Akdag distributes aid among Rohingya Muslims, says Turkey will build refugee camp for them in Bangladesh
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag distributed aid among Rohingya Muslims during his visit to a refugee camp in Bangladesh on Wednesday.
Akdag visited the camp along with his wife Seyma Akdag, Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) head Mehmet Gulluoglu, and Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya after landing in capital Dhaka.
The Turkish deputy premier handed out aid packages among Rohingya Muslims and said Turkey would build a refugee camp in Bangladesh.
During his talks with Maya, he said, Turkey made three separate proposals for the “construction of a camp, building a field hospital and drilling of well”.
The camp is planned to be a mid-phase accommodation camp for refugees that would operate alongside health services, including two field hospitals in the Rohingya Muslim-populated region, Akdag said.
He hoped the refugees would live only temporarily at the camp in Bangladesh and would eventually be able to return home, Akdag said: “We, Turkish and Bangladeshi governments, want Rohingya Muslims to return to their homes. In this respect, Turkey will carry on its work in the international platform.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has instructed the material needed for the construction of the camp should be provided by artisans in Bangladesh, he added.
He also said the construction of the camp would begin immediately after Bangladeshi officials finalize the venue.
Since Aug. 25, more than 436,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN's migration agency’s latest report on Monday.
The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which Myanmar’s armed forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.
Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees; Erdogan highlighted the issue at this year's UN General Assembly.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.