Ankara to give college scholarships to 53 Rohingya students

Ankara will provide college scholarships to 53 Rohingya students from Myanmar's troubled western Rakhine state, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu said yesterday.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu

Çavuşoğlu said that 15 Rohingya students are currently studying in Turkey and a new wave of refugee students will be given the opportunity to study communications, law, politics and human rights at Turkish universities.

He said the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) has sent 1,000 tons of food packages to Rohingya refugees and Turkey will continue helping with food provisions and health care.

"We will set up mobile health clinics [in refugee camps]," the deputy prime minister said, adding that Turkey will provide food to 20,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and help them build homes.

More than 501,000 Rohingyas have crossed into Bangladesh since the outbreak of the most recent violence on Aug. 25, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The refugees are fleeing a security operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched the Muslim minority's villages.

According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingyas have been killed in the crackdown.

Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke on the issue at this year's U.N. General Assembly.

First lady Emine Erdoğan was the first representative from Turkey to visit refugees in Bangladesh earlier last month.

Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdağ also paid a visit to refugees in a Bangladeshi camp last week and delivered aid. Akdağ said that Turkey would build a refugee camp in the country with the capacity to hold 100,000 people.

Rohingyas, whom the U.N. has called the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attacks since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.