Turkey must stop its malign activities towards its East Turkistan diaspora community

WASHINGTON
6 September 2020

The statement below is attributed to Prime Minister Salih Hudayar | Photo credit: Twitter video screen short @ProfIlyasDogan

On behalf of the people of East Turkistan, we strongly condemn Turkey’s increasingly malign actions which are undermining the basic rights and safety of the East Turkistani diaspora in Turkey.

On the evening of September 6, 2020, Turkish authorities prevented a group of 18 Uyghurs from entering Turkey’s capital of Ankara to make a press brief about their family members who are held in concentration camps and prisons in Chinese Occupied East Turkistan.

East Turkistan and its people have long looked up to Turkey and its Government as a beacon of hope and solidarity due to our shared historical, cultural, religious, and linguistic kinship.

Over the past few years, under the Erdogan Administration, Turkey has developed an increasingly close relationship with China at the expense of East Turkistan and its people. The Turkish government has undertaken numerous unethical actions, which go against the norms of international law and the characteristic of the Turkish nation, towards the East Turkistani diaspora community in Turkey. By doing so, the Turkish Government has betrayed the trust and hope of East Turkistan and its people.

Over the past few years, countless members of the East Turkistani diaspora in Turkey have been routinely harassed, restricted from engaging in peaceful activism, and detained by Turkish authorities per China’s request. In July 2019, Turkey deported Zinnetgul Tursun and her two young children to China Occupied East Turkistan via Tajikistan where she was subsequently sent to a concentration camp. Currently an estimated 1092 Uyghurs are illegally being held in detention facilities across Turkey and are at risk of deportation to China Occupied East Turkistan, where they will face imprisonment, torture, and even execution.

We call on Turkey and its government to reassess its policy towards East Turkistan and its people and cease all malign activities which undermine the rights and safety of the East Turkistani diaspora in Turkey.

We call on Ankara to immediately set free all Uyghurs and other East Turkistanis who are detained in Turkey.

We ask the Turkish government to ensure the safety and rights of the East Turkistani diaspora in Turkey and grant citizenship to 50,000 Uyghurs as promised.

Lastly, we call on the Turkish Government to remember its roots and fulfill its moral, religious, and national duty towards its Turkic kin by coming to the aid of East Turkistan and its people.