Qr-6, 9 February 2019, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding Serious Human Rights Violations Perpetrated Against Uighur Turks And The Passing Away Of Folk Poet Abdurehim Heyit

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 09.02.2019

Practices violating the fundamental human rights of Uighur Turks and other Muslim communities in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region have worsened, especially during the last two years, and have been brought to the agenda of the international community.

In particular, the official declaration of the "Sinification of All Religions and Beliefs" policy in October 2017 was another step towards the goal of eliminating the ethnic, religious and cultural identities of the Uighur Turks and other Muslim communities in the region.

It is no longer a secret that more than one million Uighur Turks incurring arbitrary arrests are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in internment camps and prisons. Uighurs who are not detained in these camps are under heavy pressure.

Our kinsmen and citizens of Uighur origin living abroad cannot get news from their relatives in the region. Thousands of children have been removed from their parents and became orphans.

The reintroduction of internment camps in the XXIst century and the policy of systematic assimilation against the Uighur Turks carried out by the authorities of China is a great shame for humanity.

We expressed our views on the tragedy in the Xinjiang region to the Chinese authorities at all levels.

In such an environment, we have learned with deep sorrow the passing away in his second year of imprisonment of the distinguished folk poet Abdurehim Heyit, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for one of his songs. This tragedy has further reinforced the reaction of the Turkish public opinion towards serious human rights violations committed in the Xinjiang region. 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.

On this occasion, we invite the Chinese authorities to respect the fundamental human rights of Uighur Turks and to close the internment camps.

We call on the international community and the Secretary General of the United Nations to take effective measures in order to bring to an end this human tragedy in Xinjiang.

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