‘Love Gifts’: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh donate 700 blankets, 200 jackets to Türkiye
Poverty-stricken Rohingya refugees in squalid makeshift camps in southern Bangladesh could not remain inactive during Türkiye’s largest humanitarian crisis since the devastating twin earthquakes, as they collected money and purchased 700 blankets and 200 jackets for Turkish people affected in 10 southern provinces, Anadolu Agency reports.
“Türkiye has been one of our primary aid providers since the beginning of our crisis. How can we sit idle in the face of such a colossal calamity involving our dearest friend?” Sahat Zia Hero, a Rohingya community leader, told Anadolu, who described their donation as a “love gift” in an emotional tone.
They have bought 700 blankets and 200 jackets with petty cash contributions from many Rohingya refugees in the last couple of days, he said.
“We are refugees here and dependent mostly on donations and assistance from others for survival. But this gift carries the unlimited love and solidarity to our Turkish brothers and sisters,” he said, explaining that it was the best they could do for the Turkish people given their very limited financial resources.
On Tuesday, the Rohingya representative delivered the donations to the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency’s (TIKA) Dhaka office while everyone was visibly very emotional.
“We are very happy to see the Bangladeshi people’s wholehearted support for us during our national crisis, and it’s a great pleasure to see the donations from the Rohingya refugees,” said TIKA’s Bangladesh Coordinator Sevki Mert Baris.
He added that the Rohingya donation carries the persecuted people’s profound love and solidarity for Türkiye, saying that on the fifth day, they were expecting to send 7-8 tons of necessary items from Bangladesh to the disaster-ravaged Turkish provinces.
The Rohingya diaspora living in various countries have also expressed satisfaction with the heartfelt initiative by their fellows in Bangladesh’s camps for Turkish people, saying that they would contribute to the initiative as well.
“Although our contribution may be significantly smaller than others, we still wish to share the pain of our brothers and sisters in Türkiye and Syria. As a result, our youth in the camps coordinated this effort,” Nay San Lwin, co-founder of the Free Rohingya Coalition, told Anadolu by phone.
“When we were left completely isolated following the state-sponsored violence against us in 2012, Türkiye was one of the first nations to answer our plea for aid,” he said, emphasizing Turkish authorities’ enormous efforts for the Rohingya.
“We will never forget their kindness,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, TIKA’s Dhaka office confirmed to Anadolu that another special cargo flight from Turkish Airlines would arrive in Bangladesh for the second time on Wednesday, carrying another large donation slot, estimated to be 100 tons, for the people affected by the earthquakes.
On Feb. 6, two massive earthquakes struck southern Türkiye.
The magnitude 7.7 and 7.6 tremors were centered in Kahramanmaras and hit nine other provinces – Hatay, Gaziantep, Adiyaman, Malatya, Adana, Diyarbakir, Kilis, Osmaniye, and Sanliurfa.
They also hit several countries and caused widespread destruction in northern Syria.
Nearly 32,000 people were killed in Türkiye, according to the latest official figures, while the death toll topped 3,600 in Syria.