By Elif Ferhan Yesilyurt
Istanbul-based Kuveyt Turk donated 1 million Turkish liras ($286,000) to Turkish Red Crescent Society Friday to help Rohingya Muslims being persecuted in Myanmar.
Ufuk Uyan, general manager of the Islamic finance bank, said their employees and customers offered to help the Rohingya with the hope this will pave way for charity campaigns.
Turkish Red Crescent Society President Kerem Kinik said they were pleased to know the bank was aware of its social responsibility and keen to help vulnerable groups.
Speaking about his visit to Bangladesh where tens of thousands of refugees have gathered, he said: “We saw fear on their faces. They had fled without even a pair of shoes on their feet.”
He added the government in Myanmar was not granting the Rohingya their fundamental rights.
“They do not have the right to citizenship. They cannot go to university, or have more than two children. They cannot travel to another city.”
Kinik said they will build 24,000 shelters and mobile hospitals for 100,000 Rohingya in Myanmar. “We will help 20,000 families this week,” he said.
He urged people to donate 10 Turkish liras ($3) by messaging "Arakan" to 2868 or by visiting www.kizilay.org.tr.
Since Aug. 25, more than 421,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.
The refugees are fleeing a fresh security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages. According to Bangladesh, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.
Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the issue at the UN.
The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including of infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances committed by security personnel. In a report, UN investigators said such violations may have constituted crimes against humanity.