By Zuhal Demirci
ANKARA / DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Turkey’s tourism and culture minister on Tuesday offered to host joint projects with Bangladesh to provide employment opportunities to Rohingya refugees in the country.
Since Aug. 25, over 656,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.
The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages
Addressing the tourism ministers’ conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, Numan Kurtulmus said Turkish businesspeople could launch projects that would pay Rohingya refugees half of the minimum wage.
He praised the Bangladeshi government for hosting the refugees.
“Bangladesh government not only hosts this important event but also houses hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, who were forced to leave their houses,” Kurtulmus said.
At least 9,000 Rohingya were killed in Rakhine state from Aug. 25 to Sept. 24, according to Doctors Without Borders.
In a report published on Dec. 12, 2017, the global humanitarian organization said the deaths of 71.7 percent or 6,700 Rohingya were caused by violence. They include 730 children below the age of 5.
The UN has 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.