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Uyghurs Condemn Turkish Government’s Support for China’s Ongoing Genocide and Occupation in East Turkistan

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan (left) shakes hands with Chinese security chief Chen Wenqing (right) against a backdrop of Uyghur detainees in a concentration camp, highlighting the controversial cooperation between Turkey and China amidst the Uyghur genocide.

Uyghurs protested in front of the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 4, 2024, condemning Türkiye's support for China's campaign of colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan.

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, June 5, 2024 / -- The East Turkistan Government in Exile (ETGE) vehemently condemns the recent actions and statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan during his visit to China and Occupied East Turkistan. Fidan’s explicit support for China’s so-called “territorial integrity and sovereignty,” coupled with his emphasis on deepening economic and security ties with the Chinese regime, represents a profound betrayal of the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples who are enduring a brutal genocide under Chinese occupation.

On Tuesday, Uyghurs, led by the ETGE and the East Turkistan National Movement, protested outside the Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C. This demonstration was in response to Fidan’s visit and his support for China’s oppressive regime. The protest highlights the deep dissatisfaction and outrage of the East Turkistani / Uyghur community.

“By showing ‘full support’ for China’s so-called ‘territorial integrity and political sovereignty’ and ‘supporting China against terrorist activities’—a grotesque euphemism used by China to describe and legitimize its Uyghur genocide—Türkiye’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has betrayed the core values and honor of the Turkish nation and the cause of East Turkistan,” said Salih Hudayar, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Security of the East Turkistan Government in Exile.

East Turkistan, historically an independent nation, was invaded by Communist China on October 12, 1949, and has been under Chinese occupation since December 22, 1949. The country declared its independence as the East Turkistan Republic twice, in 1933 and again in 1944, before the Chinese invasion. East Turkistan shares deep cultural, ethnic, religious, and linguistic ties with Türkiye, being the cradle of Turkic civilization and the ancestral homeland of the Turkic peoples.

Since 1996, Türkiye has actively worked with China to suppress the East Turkistani independence movement. The Chinese Communist Party’s top-secret Document No. 7 from 1996 outlines a strategic blueprint for working with Turkiye to suppress East Turkistan’s struggle for independence. Through a combination of diplomacy and coercion, China has enlisted Türkiye as an accomplice in its campaign of repression.

Türkiye’s involvement includes facilitating the transfer of thousands of Uyghurs to Syria, where they were used as cannon fodder by Türkiye and used to manufacture a so-called “terrorism” threat, a grotesque justification for China’s ongoing genocide.

The genocide, which has been ongoing since at least 2016, includes heinous practices such as mass internment, torture, forced sterilization, and slavery in concentration camps and forced labor camps. Despite widespread international condemnation, China continues to wage genocide and crimes against humanity in East Turkistan under the guise of counter-terrorism.

During his visit, Fidan also met with Chen Wenqing, the Chinese Communist Party’s top security and intelligence chief, who recently visited East Turkistan and called for the continuation of the genocide through the “normalization of counter-terrorism.” This meeting underscores the alarming extent of Türkiye’s alignment with China’s genocidal policies.

“Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan’s commitment to deepen security cooperation with China, a regime responsible for the largest genocide since the Holocaust, poses a grave threat to East Turkistan and the Uyghurs. The international community must hold both nations accountable for their actions,” added ETGE Foreign Minister Salih Hudayar.

The ETGE urgently calls upon the Turkish Government to end its pro-China stance and withdraw its support for China’s genocidal policies. Türkiye’s actions are a blatant betrayal not only of the people of East Turkistan but also of the core values of justice, sovereignty, and freedom that Türkiye claims to uphold.

The international community must take a stand against these atrocities. Nations globally must condemn China’s actions and reject complicity in these crimes against humanity. Specific measures such as sanctions, diplomatic pressure, and international investigations should be pursued to hold China accountable.

“East Turkistan is not a part of China but an occupied country fighting to restore its independence,” stated Dr. Mamtimin Ala, President of the East Turkistan Government in Exile. “We will continue to strive for the restoration of East Turkistan’s independence until justice prevails, our people are free, and the world acknowledges our rightful place among independent nations.”

The East Turkistan Government in Exile remains steadfast in its commitment to advocating for the rights and freedoms of the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples. The restoration of East Turkistan’s independence is the only way to ensure their fundamental rights and freedoms, secure their existence, and allow them to live in peace and prosperity.

Haider Jan
East Turkistan Government in Exile
+1 202-599-2244
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