Turkey’s Uighurs fear for future as China deportations rise

Source:Financial Times Date:24Aug2019

Unlike most Muslim countries, which have been silent or supportive of Beijing’s policy, Turks have rallied around the cause of the Uighurs, with whom they share a related language. The Turkish government in February called on China to close the camps, describing them as a “shame for humanity”.

Yet there are mounting fears among Turkey’s 30,000-strong Uighur community that this commitment is weakening, and that Ankara is willing to put aside its differences with China to expand economic ties.

Activists say Beijing is exporting its Xianjiang campaign by pushing other nations to return Uighurs who have fled China. “We know China is pressuring Turkey,” said Seyit Tumturk, head of the East Turkestan National Assembly, a Uighur rights group. “Uighurs in Turkey are on a knife’s edge.”