Press Release – For Immediate Release
24 August 2022
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On Wednesday, The Daily Sabah and the Anadolu Agency reported Turkiye’s Parliamentary Speaker Mustafa Şentop held a videoconference meeting with Li Zhanshu, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People’s Congress, to discuss developing closer ties between China and Turkiye.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile and the global East Turkistani diaspora condemn the meeting between Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Şentop and China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee Chairman Zhansu. This latest meeting signals closer cooperation between Turkiye and China which is already having severe negative consequences for the plight of East Turkistan and its people.
During the meeting, Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Şentop stated that Turkiye has “ethnic, religious, and cultural ties with Uyghur Turks” and that Turkiye’s stance on this issue is “clear, sincere, and moral.” He also added that Turkiye doesn’t want to instrumentalize the Uyghurs to “interfere in the internal affairs of the countries.”
“We would like to remind Mr. Şentop, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the Government of Turkey and all the people of Turkey once again that East Turkistan is the historical homeland of the Turkic peoples and that East Turkistan is an occupied country, not a so-called “internal affairs” of China,” said Prime Minister Salih Hudayar of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “The damaging statements that Mr. Şentop made, regarding East Turkistan, to appease China not only harms East Turkistan and its plight, but it also causes deep mistrust of the Turkish Government by the global East Turkistani diaspora and the Turkic World,” he added.
The East Turkistani people have long been wary of Turkiye’s increasingly close relationship with China and have become increasingly skeptical of Turkiye’s sincerity towards East Turkistan and the Uyghurs. In recent years under the Erodgan regime, Turkey has been suppressing East Turkistani activism and remains silent about China’s ongoing genocide of Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan.
Cooperation and economic relations between Turkiye and China and the progress of various joint projects in various fields were also discussed during the meeting between the officials. Turkiye’s Parliamentary Speaker Şentop stated Turkiye wanted to increase its relationship with China, including bilateral trade, adding that Turkiye wants China’s investments in Türkiye to increase.
“We ask Turkey not to betray East Turkistan,” said Vice President Abdulahat Nur. “The only way for Turkey to prove that its stance on the East Turkistan issue is clear, sincere and moral is to recognize that East Turkestan is the Occupied Country by recognizing China’s ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity against the Uyghur, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and other Turkic peoples in East Turkistan, he added.