The below article was published by Ahval News, photo credit: commons
Turkey is no longer the safe haven it once was for Uyghur refugees, the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs said in its new report over China’s transnational repression of Uyghurs.
China has come under growing international pressure over its treatment of Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim people living in the Xinjiangregion, formerly known as East Turkistan.
China’s government has dramatically increased its repressionof their cultural rights. Today, over one million Uyghurs are believed to be interned at government concentration camps where they are subjected to various forms of physical and mental abuse.
Moreover, China has recently extended its crackdown on the Uyghurs to the Middle East countries, including Turkey.
“A likely explanation for China’s growing fixation on the Middle East lies with political developments in Turkey overthe past decade,” the report said.
Since the 1950s, thousands of Uyghurs fleeing persecution in China have found sanctuary in Turkey, where they share common cultural heritage.
There are an estimated 50,000 Uyghurs currently living there-the largest Uyghur diaspora community in the world outside Central Asia.
Turkey has historically endorsed the Uyghurs, escalating itsrelations with China.
“In recent years, Turkey has significantly softened its rhetorical support for the Uyghurs, in addition to increasing renditions, detentions, and surveillance of its Uyghur population,” the report said.
Turkey’s relationship with China has been controversial over concerns that Beijing was seeking to exact concessions in exchange for COVID-19 vaccine deliveries.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that Turkey is no longer the safe haven it once was for refugees from the Uyghur region,” the report maintained.
In 2021, 57 Uyghurs have been detained in Turkey, according to the report.