Turkey urges China to respect Uighur rights, close camps




 

ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkey has called China's treatment of its minority Uighurs "a great cause of shame for humanity."

In a statement Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said it's "no longer a secret" that China has arbitrarily detained more than a million Uighurs in "concentration camps." He said the Turkic Muslim population faced pressure and "systematic assimilation" in western China.

Aksoy said Turkey has shared with China its position on "all levels" and urged authorities to close the detention facilities and respect human rights.

The minister said Turkey had also learned of the death in prison of famed Uighur musician and poet Abdurehim Heyit, who had been sentenced to eight years over one of his songs.

"This tragedy has further reinforced the reaction of the Turkish public opinion toward serious human rights violations committed in the Xinjiang region," Aksoy said.

"We expect this legitimate response to be taken into account by the Chinese authorities. We respectfully commemorate Abdurehim Heyit and all our kinsmen who lost their lives defending their Turkish and Muslim identity," Aksoy said.

Heyit was a master of the dutar, a type of two-stringed instrument with a long neck that is found in Iran and throughout Central Asia. His detention was considered indicative of China's determination to crack down on Uighur intellectuals and cultural figures in an effort some say to eradicate a separate Uighur language and identity.

Heyit's death could not be independently confirmed.

China's Embassy in Ankara called Aksoy's comments "completely unacceptable" in a lengthy response posted on its website that defended its policies in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, the Uighur homeland.

"Both China and Turkey face the arduous task of fighting terrorism. We are opposed to maintaining double standards on the question of fighting terrorism," said the statement, attributed to an embassy spokesman.

"We hope the Turkish side will have a correct understanding of the efforts made by China to legally deploy measures to effectively fight terrorism and extremism, withdraw its false accusations and take measures to eliminate their harmful effects," it said.

Beijing has intensified a security clampdown on Uighurs that was put in place after a bloody 2009 riot. Droves of Uighurs have fled, many traveling to Turkey, where the language and culture are similar to that in Xinjiang.

After months of denying their existence, Chinese authorities under increasing outside pressure acknowledged the system of camps, terming them vocational training centers. They have provided little or no information on how many are interned within them and how long they are being held.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had once accused China of "genocide" but has since established closer diplomatic and economic relations with Beijing.

___

Associated Press writer Christopher Bodeen in Beijing contributed to this report.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Amid trade talks, China urges U.S. to respect its right to develop, prosper
Amid trade talks, China urges U.S. to respect its right to develop, prosper

The United States should respect China's right to develop and become prosperous, the Chinese government's top diplomat told a visiting U.S. delegation, reiterating that the country's doors to the outside world would open wider. The United States has accused China of unfair trade practices, including forced technology transfers, charges it has denied. Respect and cooperation are the correct choice for both countries, something the international community hopes to see, State Councillor Wang Yi told the delegation of U.S. business leaders and former officials in Beijing on Tuesday.

NASA captures best look yet at China
NASA captures best look yet at China's lunar lander hanging out on the Moon

China started the year off strong by landing a lunar probe on the Moon's surface and deploying a tiny rover to do a bit of exploring. The country's space agency is the first to land such machines on the far side of the Moon that we Earthlings never get to see with our own eyes.NASA recently published images captured from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the lander as a tiny pale dot against a sea of gray. It was a cool shot, but now we have an even better one, and it shows both the lander and rover doing their thing on the dusty surface of the Moon.This new image was captured back on February 1st as the LRO was passing over the landing site of the Chang'e 4 spacecraft. The photo...

The Sky Is Blue for Emerging-Market Stocks, JPMorgan Says
The Sky Is Blue for Emerging-Market Stocks, JPMorgan Says

"We anticipate that China will do everything it can to resolve trade tensions with the U.S., " wrote Richard Titherington, JPMorgan Asset's chief investment officer for emerging-market and Asia Pacific equities, saying that dwindling capex, consumer confidence and retail spending have given Beijing a

China plans to tap the Sun
China plans to tap the Sun's boundless energy with an orbiting solar farm

Our Sun is the most readily available source of energy we have available to us, but harnessing its incredible power is something humanity is still a challenge. Solar farms placed in sunny areas of the Earth do a good job of converting sunlight into usable energy, but major drawbacks remain.For one, solar panels placed on the planet can only collect sunlight for a portion of the day, and weather can dramatically hinder their ability to create electricity. Now, China thinks it has a solution to both of those problems, and it's going to test its idea within the next few years.In a new report from China's Science and Technology Daily, as spotted by the Sydney Morning Herald, the country's...

Don
Don't abandon us, Syrian Kurds tell Europe

A top Kurdish official has called on Europe not to abandon Syrian Kurds once the battle against the Islamic State group is over and to help set up an international force to protect them from Turkey. European powers "have a political and moral responsibility" to the Kurds, Aldar Khalil told AFP in a interview in Paris, warning that the Kurds would seek the protection of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if failed by Europe and the US. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been leading the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria for the past four years, backed up by air strikes from a US-led coalition.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.