A Place Called Arakan

A Place Called Arakan

As the world has focused on Syria crisis, in a far corner of the World, somewhere in Southeastern Asia, in country called Myanmar (Burma) a silent massacre is being practices against Muslims in this country.
A massacre that has been going on for almost 50 years.
Myanmar is country bordering India, China, Bangladesh and Thailand, with a population about 60 millions.
More than 50 million of its people are Buddhists, around 3 million Christians and almost same number of Muslims lives in this country.
Myanmar occupied the world agenda recently for two issues; one for the military coup and the second for a natural disaster.
What brought this country to Turkey’s agenda recently was the ottoman Martyrdom in Myanmar.
Thousands of Ottoman soldiers, who were captured by British army, were sent to prison camps in Burma where most of them died due to severe camp conditions and tortures.
The graves in this martyrdom were destroyed by Buddhist gangs from time to time; nowadays only a small number of the graves are standing.
Myanmar is now on the world agenda for the massacres committed against Muslim population, which is taking place via the hands of the military junta.
The number of Muslim population has decreased to around 3 million from once 5 million due to massacres and forced migrations.
The Muslims are deprived of basic rights including education, freedom of religion, marriage etc.
They are even banned to have more than 2 children.
Those who oppose such bans are either killed or forced to migrate.
In addition Muslims are used as free labor force.
In fact UN and international NGOs, from time to time, have declared that violence and oppression has become a state policy in Myanmar.
UN reports declare that the Rohingya Muslims in Arakan are “one of the world’s most persecuted minorities”.
Human rights violations including human trafficking, child labor, systematic rape and use of women as sex slaves for soldiers have been mentioned many times in such reports.
Muslims have been deprived from the citizenship rights and have been given a status called “resident alien” since 1960s.
As mentioned above, they lack basic freedoms and rights.
In 1978, around 200 thousand, and in 1991 around 250 thousand Muslims have either been killed or forced to flee the country.
According to official data, more than 3000 Muslim villages have been burned down; residents killed, gathered in concentration camps or fled the country.
Since last June, junta backed Buddhist gangs started a new massacre campaign against Muslims.
Muslim villages are burned with residents inside, and Muslim women are being raped systematically.
According to official data from international organizations, more than 1000 Muslims have been killed during this period.
Many thousands, who try to flee to Bangladesh, are now forced to live on boats and wait for death at the sea between Myanmar and Bangladesh, after Bangladesh has decided not to accept these refuges.
UN and the Western world, which are very fast in acting when the issue is areas with high Christian population like Southern Sudan or East Timor (Timor-Leste) and grant independence status to these areas continue to follow their double standard policy and try to manage the process with weak reactions.
As for Muslim countries, they are hopeless as usual.
Arakan’s cry fro help was responded first by Turkey, as in Somalia.
Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu visited the country with a delegation that included Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, spouse of PM Erdoğan.
The delegation first met the government officials, then visited the Muslims in Arakan region.
Thus the issue has been carried to the agenda of the international community.
However we do not have sufiicient information whther the situation has changed or not following Turkishd elegation’s visit.
The news arriving show that things have not changed a lot as expected.
In a far place called Arakan, a nation is awaiting death.
This is what they have been waiting for the last 50 years.
World is silent.
Muslim states are in a shameful silent.
Reactions are limited only with those in social media.
And unfortunately we are able to send only our prayers to these people, who have no other defender than their prayers.