Uighur debate shows shifting influence in Turkish policies

Source:al Monitor Date:08Apr2019

China’s treatment of the Uighurs doesn’t bear directly on Turkey’s economy, but the debate on the matter reveals the power struggle between the two circles that currently dominate Turkey’s security administration.

Staunch Eurasianists — identified by their fierce anti-US, anti-NATO stance — are making headway in the security bureaucracy. This camp has members who back Russia and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and advocate strategic ties with China — particularly over ballistic missile systems, space technology, robotic systems, artificial intelligence and cyberwarfare.

The Eurasianists believe Turkey should reduce its dependency on the West regarding defense and security matters. They say China is likely to be one of Turkey’s top global partners in the next 20 years. According to this camp, the Uighur issue is being kept alive in the media under pressure by the United States and other Western powers to hurt developing economic and strategic relations between Turkey and China.