By Md. Kamruzzaman
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), a state-run aid organization, gifted on Wednesday a minibus to Bangladesh’s refugee authorities to facilitate swift services to the persecuted Rohingya community.
Turkish ambassador to Dhaka Mustafa Osman Turan handed over a symbolic key to Bangladesh's State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Md. Enamur Rahman. Ismail Gundogdu, the TIKA coordinator in Bangladesh, was also present.
Addressing the ceremony, Rahman referred to Turkey as a “very long and faithful friend” of Bangladesh. “We want to move together, work together and cooperate with each other," he said.
The minister thanked the Turkish government for helping his country in many sectors, especially in support of the Rohingya in the field of health, education and rehabilitation.
Turkey increased its aid activities in 2017, as a new wave of Rohingya refugees sheltered in Bangladesh. More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled from the western Rakhine state of Myanmar to the neighboring Bangladesh as the Myanmar military launched a crackdown that saw villages being burned down, extrajudicial killings, and rape.
Turkey has always supported the community, repeatedly drawing attention to their plight.
Ambassador Turan said Ankara has close, friendly ties with Dhaka and both the countries share many common cultural and religious values. He said Turkey is the country with the highest number of refugees in the world.
Underlining TIKA's efforts in Bangladesh, he said Turkey is interested in further strengthening bilateral relations. “Many Turkish companies are interested in investing in Bangladesh in the near future.”
TIKA was founded in 1992 and now has 60 offices worldwide. Its Bangladesh office was opened in 2014.