Turkey slams China’s Uighurs treat­ment

The Asian Age - - World -

Ankara, Feb. 10: 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 Tur­kic­s­peak­ing mi­nor­ity.

“The sys­tem­atic as­sim­i­la­tion pol­icy of Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties to­wards Uighur Turks is a great em­bar­rass­ment for hu­man­ity,” Turk­ish for­eign min­istry spokesman Hami Ak­soy said in a state­ment.

The north­west Xin­jiang re­gion of China, where most Uighurs live, has been un­der heavy po­lice sur­veil­lance in re­cent years, af­ter vi­o­lent in­tereth­nic ten­sions.

Nearly one mil­lion Uighurs and other Tur­kic lan­guage-speak­ing mi­nori­ties in China have re­port­edly been held in reed­u­ca­tion camps, ac­cord­ing to a UN panel of ex­perts. Bei­jing says the “vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion cen­tres” help people steer clear of ter­ror­ism and al­low them to be rein­te­grated into so­ci­ety.

But crit­ics say China is seek­ing to as­sim­i­late Xin­jiang’s mi­nor­ity pop­u­la­tion and sup­press re­li­gious

TURKEY CALLED it a great em­bar­rass­ment for hu­man­ity

IT WANTED the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to take steps to end hu­man tragedy in Xin­jiang

and cul­tural prac­tices that con­flict with Com­mu­nist ide­ol­ogy and the dom­i­nant Han cul­ture.

“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. “Uighurs who are not de­tained in the camps are also un­der great pres­sure,” he added.

Turkey called on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res “to take ef­fec­tive steps to end the hu­man tragedy in Xin­jiang re­gion”.

Most mainly Mus­lim coun­tries have not been vo­cal on the is­sue, not crit­i­cis­ing the govern­ment in China which is an im­por­tant trad­ing part­ner. Ak­soy also said Turkey had learned of the “tragic” death in cus­tody Satur­day of Uighur poet and mu­si­cian Ab­dure­him Heyit.

“We’ve learned with great sor­row that dig­ni­fied poet Ab­dure­him Heyit, who was sen­tenced to eight years in prison for his com­po­si­tions, died in the sec­ond year of his im­pris­on­ment,” he said.

“This tragic in­ci­dent has fur­ther strength­ened the Turk­ish pub­lic’s re­ac­tion to the se­ri­ous hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in Xin­jiang Re­gion”.

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