TİKA’s Health Care and Educational Support for the Turkish Village in Sri Lanka
The Muslim population was displaced from their settlement areas in Sri Lanka because of terrorist activities. In order to guarantee their return to this area, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) took the first step towards constructing a preschool, health unit and playground.
In line with the Former Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka’s request, TİKA constructed a village for the settlement of migrant Muslims. This village is comprised of 100 houses completed in 2015. It is located 300 km away from the commercial capital city, Colombo. Economic activities are limited; therefore, local people are not able to satisfy their basic needs.
There are approximately 600 people living in the Mannar Turkish Village. The groundbreaking ceremony of the project was undertaken with the participation of Dr.Rahman Nurdun, the Head of Department for East and South Asia, Pacific and Latin America (DOGAL) of TİKA, Ahmet Refik Çetinkaya, TİKA Program Coordinator based in Dhaka, and Meerashaib Maroof, the retired ambassador and manager of Organization for Habitation and Resources Development (OHRD), our partner NGO in this project. All equipment which will be used for serving the Turkish Village and Mannar will be provided through the TİKA project.
Dr. Nurdun emphasized that Turkey is always in solidarity with Sri Lankan people and TİKA is ready to help all terror-stricken people. He added that the preschool, health unit and playground will be serving all people whether they are Muslims, Christian, Jews or Hindus.
Stationery and food aid was distributed to the local people after the ceremony followed by a visit by the TİKA delegates to these houses in the Mannar Turkish Village.
After these visits, TİKA delegates visited Mr. Bathiudeen, the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka, in his office. In this meeting, he was informed about TİKA operations in Sri Lanka and he thanked the Turkish people and TİKA for their projects.
TİKA will increase the number of projects regarding livestock, dairy and poultry. TİKA will also train the local people for this project. In order to increase the employment rate of women, TİKA aims to donate sewing materials and provide vocational training.
Minister Bathiudeen expressed that the statement of His Excellency, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of the Republic of Turkey, "By reaching out all over the world, we, as Turkey, will give a helping hand as much as we can to whoever is in need of assistance" is very meaningful for him and his people.