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Erdogan Says Clashes in Myanmar’s Rakhine State ‘Genocide Against Muslims’

© REUTERS / UMIT BEKTASTurkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the attempted coup in front of the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2017.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the attempted coup in front of the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2017. - Sputnik International
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly criticized the global media for insufficient coverage of the violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar on Friday and said that the international community does not pay enough attention to the ongoing tragedy.

ANKARA (Sputnik) — “Those who turn a blind eye to this genocide, committed under a mask of democracy, become the accomplices of it. Global media, which overlooks these people in Rakhine, are also the accomplices of this crime. The Muslim population in Rakhine, which only half a century ago amounted to 4 million, now has diminished by one-third as a result of persecution and bloodshed. The fact that the world community is silent in response to this is a tragedy on its own,” Erdogan said at a public event, as quoted by the Anadolu news agency.

The Turkish leader also vowed to raise awareness about the clashes in Myanmar on a global level and at different international platforms.

“As the rotating president of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, I held necessary talks with leaders of Islamic countries and UN Secretary-General Guterres… Turkey will do everything possible to deliver the facts about situation in Rakhine to the global community. The issue will be discussed at the bilateral talks too. Turkey will speak about it even if others remain silent,” Ergodan stressed.

A man walks among debris of buildings destroyed during ethnic unrest between Buddhists and Muslim in Meikhtila, about 550 kilometers (340 miles) north of Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, March 25, 2013 - Sputnik International
Myanmar Gov’t. Should Assume Responsibility to Protect Civilians - UN
Last week, Muslim insurgents of Rohingya origin attacked security posts in Rakhine. The attacks prompted a harsh response from authorities, with the ongoing clashes between Burmese armed forces and Muslim insurgents killing at least 109 people. More than 18,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since ethnic clashes flared up in Rakhine state, according to the International Organization for Migration's (IOM).

Rakhine is a site of frequent clashes between Myanmar's Muslims and Buddhists. The conflict that started about a century ago has gradually escalated since 2011 before hitting its peak in 2012, when thousands of Muslim families sought asylum in the special refugee camps on the country's territory or fled to Bangladesh. Yet another escalation started in 2016.

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