“Bangladesh Turkey together dealing refugee problems “

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has demonstrated true leadership by allowing shelter to over 700 thousand Rohingyas with a decent living condition said Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan.

Ambassador Turan, who visited Rohingya camps twice, laid emphasis on collaboration with the international community and donor agencies as the expenditure behind Rohingyas is huge, no matter where they are living. “We would like to see better collaboration and it’ll be much easier to help the Rohingyas.”

“It’s the right of the government of Bangladesh to decide where it’ll host Rohingyas,” Ambassador Turan told UNB in an interview at his office recognising that Bangladesh has invested significantly making Bhasan Char habitable.

A thorough technical assessment by the UN on Bhashan Char is needed to figure out additional costs and challenges in running operations in two separate places efficiently, he added.

The government of Bangladesh invested more than US$ 350 million to develop the island. The 13,000-acre island, the government says, has all modern amenities, year-round fresh water, beautiful lake and proper infrastructure and enhanced facilities.

The Turkish Ambassador, however, said the relocation of Rohingyas should be made voluntary one and that the Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement from December 4th highlights this aspect.

In the face of growing concerns over the extreme congestion in Cox’s Bazar camps and to avert any risk of death due to landslides and other unwarranted incidents, the government of Bangladesh has decided to relocate, in phases, 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashan Char.

Accordingly, in the first phase, more than 1,600 Rohingyas who expressed their willingness voluntarily for relocation were shifted to Bhashan Char on December 4.

Supporting The Gambia

The Turkish Ambassador said they are supporting The Gambia in regards to a case with the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“It’s an important international legal proceeding to hold perpetrators accountable,” he said adding that repatriation is the best solution.

The Gambia filed a more than 500-page Memorial, which also includes more than 5000 pages of supporting material, in its lawsuit against Myanmar at the ICJ in The Hague, making its case for how the Government of Myanmar is responsible for genocide against Rohingya.

The Gambia urgently needs US$ 5 million to pay the lawyers while so far US$ 1.2 million has been raised through an OIC fund-raising campaign to support the legal battle.

Banglaesh is one of the contributors to the fund donating half a million US dollar. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Malaysia have also contributed to the fund so far.

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