TURKEY HAS come guns blazing against China in what it views as abhorrent treatment and violation of rights of Uighurs’ minority.
Ankara has also called on the Asian nation to close concentration camps where over a million Muslims are kept.
Turkey describes China’s treatment of Uighurs Turks as “a great cause of shame for humanity”.
In a statement, released by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry after years of silence, it said: “It is no longer a secret that more than one million Uighur Turks incurring arbitrary arrests are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in internment camps and prisons,” said Hami Aksoy, spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The statement was in response to a question of human rights violations committed against Uighurs and the “death” of folk poet Abdurehim Heyis in jail.
Aksoy’s statement highlighted “the official declaration of the “Sinification of All Religions and Beliefs” policy of Chinese government announced in October 2017 was another step towards the goal of eliminating the ethnic, religious and cultural identities of the Uighur Turks and other Muslim communities in the region.”
The Ministry pointed out that in the last two years, the situation in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region have worsened for the Uighur and other Muslim communities as the international community raised its voice against Beijing. “We call on the international community and the Secretary-General of the United Nations to take effective measures in order to bring an end to this human tragedy in Xinjiang,” the statement said.
“Our kinsmen and citizens of Uighur origin living abroad cannot get news from their relatives in the region. Thousands of children have been removed from their parents and are now orphans.”
Answering Turkey’s allegations, China released a video of Heyit in prison and confirmed he is still alive. “Both China and Turkey face the arduous task of fighting terrorism. We are opposed to maintaining double standards on the question of fighting terrorism,” China’s Embassy in Ankara released the statement and called Aksoy’s comments “completely unacceptable.”
Following the 2009 riot, China has increased a security clampdown on Uighurs. Since the riot against China’s oppression, during the last 10 years, big numbers of Uighur Turks have fled from the region and, many of them travelled to Turkey, with the advantage of ethnic relations.
Double standards by Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticised China of “genocide” in 2009 but still went on to establish closer diplomatic and economic relations with Beijing. Erdogan shocked the Turkish nation by saying: “I condemn terrorist activities in East Turkestan (Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region),” in his meeting with China President Xi Jinping in Beijing in July 2015. After Erdogan’s remarks in China, Vice President of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) said “sorry, but no European country, exclude Turkey the country we know as our second homeland, recognise Uighurs as terrorists. Turkey’s president remarks made us our very upset.”