China's treatment of Uighurs is 'embarrassment for humanity': Turkey

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 11, 2019

"It is no longer a secret that more than one million Uighur Turks, - who are exposed to arbitrary arrests - are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in concentration centres and prisons", Aksoy said in the Turkish foreign ministry statement.

The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 percent of Xinjiang's population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.

One former detainee told the ABC she was injected with unknown substances and subjected to physical and mental forms of torture.

China's Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uyghurs.

"... A small number of separatists and religious extremists in Xinjiang, influenced by the worldwide trend of religious extremism and national chauvinism, politicised the unstandardised geographical term "East Turkestan", and fabricated an "ideological and theoretical system" on the so-called "independence of East Turkestan" on the basis of the allegation cooked up by the old colonialists".

"This tragedy has further reinforced the reaction of the Turkish public opinion toward serious human rights violations committed in the Xinjiang region", Mr Aksoy said.

Turkey on Saturday condemned China's treatment of its Muslim ethnic Uighur people as "a great embarrassment for humanity", adding to rights groups' recent criticism over mass detentions of the Turkic-speaking minority.

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Turkey's response follows the death of Uighur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit in custody.

"We expect this legitimate response to be taken into account by the Chinese authorities".

Turkey's foreign ministry said Abdurehim Heyit, a renowned singer and master of the dutar stringed instrument who was detained in 2017, died defending his "Turkish and Muslim identity".

"Both China and Turkey face the arduous task of fighting terrorism".

"We hope the Turkish side will have a correct understanding of the efforts madeby China to legally deploy measures to effectively fight terrorism and extremism, withdraw its false accusations and take measures to eliminate their harmful effects". Droves of Uighurs have fled, many traveling to Turkey, where the language and culture are similar to that in Xinjiang.

After months of denying their existence, Chinese authorities under increasing outside pressure acknowledged the system of camps, terming them vocational training centres.

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