September 2, 2017 - 10:37 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday, September 1 accused Myanmar of "genocide" against the Rohingya Muslim minority, although Ankara itself continues to deny the Genocide of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1923.
"There is a genocide there," Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul during the Islamic Eid al-Adha feast, which commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, AFP reports.
"Those who close their eyes to this genocide perpetuated under the cover of democracy are its collaborators".
Around 400 people -- most of them Rohingya Muslims -- have died in violence searing through Myanmar's northwestern Rakhine state, the army chief's office said Friday.
Reports of massacres and the systematic torching of villages by security forces -- as well as by militants -- have further amplified tensions, raising fears that communal violence in Rakhine is spinning out of control.
To escape the violence, about 20,000 Rohingya have massed along the Bangladeshi frontier, barred from entering the South Asian country, while scores of desperate people have drowned attempting to cross the Naf, a border river, in makeshift boats.
The Ottoman Empire launched a campaign of mass extermination against ethnic Armenians living in their historic homeland. At least 1.5 million Armenians were killed or marched to death by the Young Turk government between 1915 and 1923.
Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local governing bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the Armenian Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.
Erdogan said he would bring up the issue at the next UN General Assembly in New York later this month, adding that he had already talked to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other Muslim leaders.