NAYPYIDAW (AA) - August 9, 2012 - Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has stated that they arrived in Myanmar to establish bilateral relations and reach Arakan. He said that Myanmar government's accepting their visit shows Turkey's influence in the international field.
Alongside Minister Davutoglu, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's wife Emine Erdogan and daughter Sumeyye Erdogan; several MPs; bureaucrats; representatives of charities and journalists went to Naypyidaw, capital of Myanmar.
Davutoglu replied the questions of journalists during his flight to Myanmar and stated that this is the first high level visit between Turkey and Myanmar.
He stated that they could see the regime in Myanmar opening up to the world step by step and now they decided to open an embassy in the country.
He also drew attention to the Rohingya Muslims living in the Arakan region and said, "We would like to establish bilateral relations between Turkey and Myanmar as well as reach Arakan. We would like to carry on with both of our aims. The Myanmar government's accepting our visit reflects that Turkey is effective in the international field. They did not put up such practice to any other countries. Our ambassador worked hard."
He reminded that he had given two instructions to the ambassador who was appointed to Myanmar. Davutoglu said that the first one was that during the World War I 1500 Turkish soldiers who were taken to Myanmar from Canakkale and Egypt were killed in Myanmar, so asked the ambassador to find their graveyards and secondly, he asked ambassador to contact Muslims in Arakan region.
He said that Davutoglu, himself wrote a letter to the Foreign Minister of Myanmar regarding the martyrs' cemeteries and about the emerging incidents in Arakan.
Informing journalists about Turkey's diplomatic relations with Myanmar about Arakan; Turkish FM said that the Myanmar government was only letting United Nations (UN) and their members of staff to get into Arakan region. He stated that apart from UN, they only gave permission to Turkey.
Davutoglu stressed that the problems in Arakan continue for decades and said that the aid they brought will be primarily taken to Muslims in Arakan then taken to Buddhist camps too. He said, "At the moment our first aim is to set up good relationships with Myanmar government then transmit the humanitarian aid."
Davutoglu added that what Western world can do about Rohingya Muslims is limited and said that they will ask Indonesia to cooperate with Turkey regarding Rohingya Muslims under the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Minister Davutoglu highlighted that Turkey is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and said, "Our trip to Myanmar and passage to Arakan will increase our visibility in ASEAN and in the globe. Turkey will reach a place where others cannot. Last year's Somalia has changed, it is not the same Somalia any more. This was achieved after our Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's trip to Somalia. Things changed there, psychology has improved in Somalia."
Foreign ministers of Turkey and Myanmar meet in Naypyidaw
NAYPYIDAW (AA) - August 9, 2012 - Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Myanmar's Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin met in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw on Thursday.
Davutoglu said that Turkey and Myanmar were the two big states of Asia, adding that his visit had been the first high-level one from Turkey to Myanmar.
The meeting was later closed to press.
Reporting by Murat Unlu