Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdogan arrived in Bangladesh capital Dhaka early Thursday to meet Rohingya Muslims who have fled persecution in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
The visit follows the latest bloodshed in Myanmar’s Rakhine State that resulted in the fresh influx of Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.
Ms. Erdogan visited refugee camps in southeastern Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslims who have fled a brutal army crackdown in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The UN says 146,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Rakhine state and crossed the border into Bangladesh since Aug 25.
The World Food Program estimates the total numbers can go up to 300,000.
According to reports, aid groups in Bangladesh have expanded refugee camps and asked for more aid as Rohingya refugees continue to enter the country. Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi continues to label the crisis a ‘misinformation campaign.’
After arriving in Dhaka early Thursday, a special aircraft carrying Turkey’s first lady landed around noon in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar, which shares a river and land border with Myanmar.
Erdogan, who is accompanied by Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affair Shahriar Alam, visited the Kutupalang camp for registered refugees.
She is also scheduled to visit several other camps as well as the ones accommodating the unregistered refugees across Cox’s Bazar.
Erdogan is expected to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina later in the day to discuss Rohingya refugees matter before flying out.
The International Organization for Migration has pleaded for $18 million in foreign aid to help feed and shelter tens of thousands of Rohingyas now packed into makeshift settlements or stranded in a no-man’s land between the two countries’ borders.
The Rohingya violence– being dubbed as genocide, drew global condemnation. UN Secretary-General António Guterres wrote “officially” to the president of the Security Council to express his concern. He also appreciated Bangladesh for allowing in Rohingya refugees.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also phoned his Bangladesh counterpart Md Abdul Hamid and supported measures taken by Bangladesh over the Rohingya refugee issue last week.
He expressed concern over the ongoing violence in Rakhine.