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Turkey continues to aid Rohingyas: Envoy

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 16 November, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Turkey’s Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan has said that his country will continue its whole-hearted humanitarian support to Rohingya populations sheltered in Bangladesh until the peaceful repatriation of the persecuted people to their home country Myanmar.

As part of a two-day visit on November 13-14, Ambassador Turan visited Rohingyas living in makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar. More than 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingya Muslims fled military crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in August 2017.

The Turkey’s envoy arrived in Cox’s Bazar on early Saturday to observe different aid services and training programmes conducted by Turkish organisations, including the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), Diyanet Foundation, and Turkish Red Crescent.

The envoy said Turkey is always supportive to reduce the suffering of the Rohingya since the very beginning of the crisis. “We, along with the UN and other concerned authorities, have been working for peaceful and dignified repatriation of the Rohingya,” he added.

Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC), Shah Rezwan Hayat, and Additional Commissioner Mohammad Shamsud Douza, also accompanied the envoy during the tour.

They expressed appreciation for the Turkish voice at global platforms for resolving the Rohingya crisis as well as continuous support for the forcibly displaced Myanmar’s nationals.

Turan also hosted RRRC and all 34 camp-in-charge at a kitchen built by TIKA to serve hot meals to Rohingyas.

The envoy also visited the Turkish Field Hospital located at a camp for Rohingyas in the makeshift tents. Since June 1, the hospital has been serving 2,000 Rohingya and local host community people daily.

The envoy opened the food distribution center and the playground for Rohingya children, both of which were newly renovated by TIKA at camp no. 16.

Later speaking at a meeting with the officials of aid groups in Cox’s Bazar, the Turkey’s Ambassador said his country want to enhance cooperation among aid agencies to ensure “more effective” humanitarian services at Rohingya camps.

He also stressed the need for better safety measures at the camps and increased livelihood opportunities for the Rohingya.

The Turkish ambassador met representatives of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), UN Women, and the Inter Sector Coordination Group, which oversees operations of 134 aid agencies in Cox’s Bazar.