Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Myanmar of committing genocide against the Rohingya Muslim community, PTI reported on Saturday. “There is a genocide there,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul during Eid al-Adha. “Those who close their eyes to this genocide perpetuated under the cover of democracy are its collaborators”.

His remarks came after at least 400 people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, died this week in violence in Myanmar. The number of deaths came from the office of the country’s Army chief on Friday. Erdogan has said he will bring up the matter at the next United Nations General Assembly in New York, which will take place later in September. He also called on Bangladesh to open its doors to Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar.

Tens of thousands of Rohingyas have fled the country seeking to escape ethnic violence, but Bangladesh is not accepting any more of them into their territory. Bangladesh has allowed around 4 lakh Rohingyas to enter the country till date.

The crisis

Myanmar treats Rohingyas as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not acknowledge their rights as an official ethnic group. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar. The country’s de-facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised for failing to stand up for more than 1 million stateless Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.

The Army had said there have been at least 90 clashes, including 30 attacks by insurgents, since August 25.