Document from Ottoman archive shows Rohingya’s solidarity with Turks during First World War
Rohingya Muslims had showed solidarity with Turks over a hundred years ago, dating back to the First World War, Deputy Prime Minister Fikri Isik said Friday, citing an archived document.
Isik said the Rohingya had sent a total of 1,391 pounds ($1,833) for the relief of injured, orphans, widows and families of martyrs during the second Balkan War, which broke out among Balkan States to occupy the Ottoman land in 1913.
Ahmed Mawla Dawood, the head of Ottoman Relief Fund based in Myanmar’s Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, had sent a letter to the Grand Vizier to congratulate him over the victory.
“I beg to confirm my cable of even date advising dispatch of a remittance by cable today an equivalent of £1,391…,” Dawood said in the letter.
“I take this opportunity of congratulating your Highness and the members of your Cabinet and all my Turkish Co-religionists for the marvelous and magnificent fete of reoccupying Adrianople [today Edirne] and some of the lost territory and thus restoring the Prestige of the Ottoman Empire,” the letter read.
This letter marks Ottoman victory over Bulgarians when Ottomans retook the province of Edirne, northwestern Turkey.
“I also inform your Highness that the Mussulmans [Muslims] are jubilant over the restoration of lost territory and recent success of their Turkish brethren,” it said.
World’s most persecuted people
The minister said Ottoman foreign office thanked Dawood for the contribution.
“The Rakhine Muslims, to whom we have extended a hand, had been mobilized in the past for our martyrs, injured and widows in our difficult times,” added Isik.
Rohingya, described by the UN as the world’s most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.
Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine’s Maungdaw district, Myanmar security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.
The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings — including infants and young children — brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.
In a report, UN investigators said the human rights violations constituted crimes against humanity.
Fresh violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine state nearly two weeks ago when security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya community.
Bangladesh, which already hosted around 400,000 Rohingya refugees, has faced a fresh influx of refugees since the security operation was launched.
According to the UN, 270,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh as of Friday.
By Sarp Ozer and Sinan Uslu