Turkish aid, the first international aid aside from the UN was reached out to the Rakhine region.
Turkish aid, the first international aid aside from the UN was reached out to the Rakhine region.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu visited Myanmar on 8-10 August 2012.

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu was received by the President of Myanmar, Mr. Thein Sein and also met with Foreign Minister of Myanmar, Mr. Wunna Maung Lwin. At the meetings, bilateral relations, as well as the developments regarding the events which occurred in the Rakhine (Arakan) region of Myanmar in early June and affected predominantly the Rohingya Muslims, were be discussed.

Foreign Minister Davutoğlu also visited the graves of Turkish soldiers in Myanmar who were captured by the British Army during the World War I. He placed a wreath and laid roses at the graves of Turkish soldiers. Moreover, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu and Turkish Martyrdom Mosque’s Imam poured water which was brought from Turkey over the soldiers’ graves. Stressing that there are 3,195 graveyards of Turkish martyrs in Mekhtila, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu expressed that according to the Turkish arvhives, total 5,000 graveyards of Turkish martyrs are found in Myanmar.

On the second day of his visit, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu, the spouse of Prime Minister of Turkey Mrs. Emine Erdoğan and the accompanying delegation visited the Rakhine region and the camps of the Muslims and Buddhists who have been displaced due to the events. Turkish delegation first visited Rakhine Muslims in the Banduba Camp and was informed of the current conditions in the camps by the officials of Turkish Red Crescent. Furthermore, humanitarian aid brought from Turkey, was distributed in the camp. The humanitarian aid which consists of kitchen sets and food was the first international humanitarian assistance accepted by Myanmar, aside from the one being provided by the UN. Speaking at the camp, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu announced that the Turkish Red Crescent and the Red Cross will work in the region in line with the agreement concluded during the visit.

Afterwards Foreign Minister Davutoğlu, Mrs. Emine Erdoğan and the accompanying delegation also visited a Buddhist camp. Listening to the problems of Buddhists, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu pointed out that all people have the same rights and expressed the wish for peaceful coexistence of Buddhists and Muslims.

The visit constituted the first high level visit between the two countries. As would be recalled, Turkey established a resident Embassy in Myanmar in March 2012.