PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
East Turkistan Government in Exile
+1 (202) 599-2244, Ext: 1
4 May 2022
Recently numerous Turkish media outlets, including Yeni Şafak, Diriliş Postası, Karar, Kırım Haber Ajansıand the pro-Chinese government Aydınlık media outlet, began spreading a Chinese propaganda video. They deliberately promoted the Chinese propaganda video with misleading headlines such as “After six years, eid prayers have been performed in East Turkistan.”
The misleading Chinese propaganda video showing Uyghurs dancing in front of the Idh Kah mosque was initially uploaded on Duoyin, China’s version of TikTok, on May 3rd. It was subsequently brought to the East Turkistan Government in Exile’s attention by a respected Turkish non-governmental organization leader. The Turkish NGO’s leader messaged a representative of the East Turkistan Government in Exile and stated, “Turkey’s efforts have brought about results; may Allah be pleased with those who contributed [to Turkey’s efforts].”
The TikTok video shows hundreds of Uyghurs and many Chinese (presumably plainclothed Chinese security forces) clapping and dancing in front of the Idh Kah mosque in East Turkistan’s cultural capital city of Kashgar. There hasn’t been any evidence of Uyghurs having performed Eid prayers. Yet, Turkish media has shamelessly spread the video and screenshots from the video claiming that “Eid prayers have been performed in East Turkistan after six years.”
The East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistani people condemn the Turkish media which promoted Chinese propaganda and served to help China deny and whitewash its ongoing genocide and other crimes against East Turkistan and its people.
“We are heartbroken to see Turkish media promoting Chinese propaganda created to deceive our Turkic blood kin in Turkey,” said President Ghulam Yaghma of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “Are the Uyghurs truly performing sama (traditional Turkic dance) in their own free will, or are Uyghurs forced to clap and dance at the instructions of the many plainclothed Chinese officials seen in the video?” he added.
“This propaganda show comes ahead of the expected UN visit to East Turkistan,” said Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “China has been denying and whitewashing its ongoing genocide and crimes by putting propaganda shows with Uyghurs dancing and singing to deceive the world into thinking that Uyghurs are happy,” he added.
Since 2014 the Chinese government has sent over 3 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples, perhaps even more than 7.8 million, to concentration camps or what China calls “vocational training and re-education camps,” according to a Chinese White paper from September 2020.
Leaked Chinese government documents and propaganda, testimonies of camps survivors who later fled East Turkistan, satellite imagery analysis, and testimonies of foreign tourists and visitors in East Turkistan have revealed China’s crimes. Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples are subjected to forced indoctrination, forced medical experimentation, systematic rape and sexual abuse, forced sterilization, forced labor, torture, and even organ harvesting.
Since 2014, the Chinese government has shut down and destroyed over 16,000 mosques across East Turkistan, and all religious activities, including praying and observing Ramadan, have been banned. Over 850,000 Uyghur and other Turkic children have been forcibly separated from their families and sent to Chinese orphanages and boarding schools to be raised as atheist Chinese. In addition, tens of thousands of Uyghur and other Turkic women have been forcibly married to Chinese men.
These crimes carried out by the Chinese government and its Communist Party have led to international condemnation. Over 10 western governments and parliaments have officially recognized China’s atrocities against Uyghur and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan as genocide. Despite being home to the largest East Turkistani diaspora outside Central Asia and sharing long historical, cultural, and ethnic ties to East Turkistan, Turkey has failed to condemn China’s ongoing genocide.
The recent misleading promotion of Chinese propaganda has left many East Turkistanis questioning whether this is a deliberate effort by the Turkish media to portray the murderous Chinese occupation forces in East Turkistan as “merciful.” Additionally, suppose Turkey has a role in the propaganda show staged in Kashgar. In that case, Turkey’s “silent efforts” on the East Turkistan issue have only brought more damage to East Turkistan and its people.
What is clear is that the misleading news reports by numerous Turkish media outlets have enraged the global East Turkistani diaspora and questioned the motives behind the misleading reports.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) demands that Turkish media outlets cease publishing Chinese propaganda and issue an apology to the East Turkistani people. The East Turkistan Government in Exile also calls on the Turkish government and the Turkish Grand National Assembly to stand with its fellow Turkic kin in East Turkistan and not with the Chinese government.
“If Turkey truly wants to help East Turkistan, it must recognize China’s atrocities against Uyghurs and other Turkic peoples as genocide,” said Dr. Mamtimin Ala, the EU Representative of the East Turkistan Government Exile. “We call on the Turkish Government to show that it truly stands with East Turkistan by leading the international community to recognize East Turkistan as an Occupied Country,” he added.