Riots Highlight Latent Conflict Of Uighurs in China

Riots Highlight Latent Conflict Of Uighurs in China


Long life to an independent East Turkistan [Xinjiang]! In Xinjiang, southeast China,
there is a latent conflict between local Muslims of Uighur ethnicity
and Chinese Han. Riots took place in the summer of 2009,
which resulted in almost 150 casualties, according to official Chinese statistics. Because of the occupation, people could not
live according to their identity, to their culture, so a significant number of
people started to leave East Turkistan. Turkey doesn’t share a border with Xinjiang,
but it is the main destination for exiled Uighurs. According to the government, there are
300,000 people from East Turkistan, but there could be more, because some of them
have settled here and “Turkified.” We think there are more than 300,000. Here in Istanbul, we think there are 30,000 people. In other countries … for example, I lived in Saudi Arabia,
and there is much more control. Here in Turkey, you can live comfortably. There are some problems with
living in a different country. For example, the search for lodging and the facts regarding refugee status:
getting Turkish nationality or a residence permit. These are the problems that our
organization deals with. The Uighur people who had migrated to
border countries were given back to China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan. We have lived in these countries. I also lived in Kyrgyzstan, but China told these countries
that we are terrorists — and it has a lot of influence there because of
the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — so these countries sent back
most Uighurs to China. In Turkey, the Uighur cause enjoys popular support. I support this because of human rights. I would do it also if it were happening in Africa. It’s about violence and injustice. Wherever it happens, I am against violence. It’s very sad. This is not because they are Muslims. It has been a massacre,
a tragedy against humanity. For nine years, we have been sending
our workers to East Turkistan, because we share the same history,
the same culture and the same religion. They are so far, but we
come from the same family and they are our own people. Mostly, the Turks who support us consider
themselves brothers to Uighurs. We think that organizations like
Ulku Ocaklari are very nationalistic, so they have these nationalist feelings
about people from East Turkistan. Regarding Islamists like Saadet Partesi, it has to do
with religion. They share religious aspects. We are on the side of the victims,
especially when there are human rights abuses. We don’t distinguish between where or who, so for the last nine years we have been
supporting our brothers in East Turkistan. In Ramadan time, in Kurban time,
in other moments, we sent our workers,
and our relief and support there. After the incidents on July 5 in Xinjiang,
the situation got worse. The Chinese government says there have been
1,000 or 2,000 people arrested. We know, thanks to information that we get
from people who come from there and who go there, that there more than 30,000 people have been arrested. Though the Chinese government doesn’t
make it public, in the last incidents 30,000 Uighur people
were killed in East Turkistan. At the moment, is impossible to
check the veracity of these claims. In any case, this is the version
accepted as true in Turkey. In this conflict, the Turks, at least
the common citizens, are with the Uighurs.

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