Ankara, Turkey: China is not stopping its cultural genocide in China’s Xinjiang region. The Uyghuer in Turkey have filed a criminal case against the Chinese act in the region with a Turkish prosecutor
Uyghur families, including volunteer Turkish lawyers, gathered at the Istanbul Court of Justice in Istanbul’s district of Caglayan and held banners that read, “Where are our families?” and “China, free my brother”, reported the international think tank based in Canada, International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS).
The protestors carried photographs of Chinese officials, against whom criminal complaints were filed, were laid on the ground during the demonstration.
Volunteer lawyers Gulden Sonmez, Rumeysa Kabaoglu and Muhammet Furkan Yun, insisted the camps be closed after submitting the petition to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Demonstrators argued that China has committed crimes, including “genocide, deliberate killing, torture, cruel treatment, and enforced disappearance against Uyghurs,” and asked to bring out crimes against Turkish citizens (Uyghur who took Turkish nationality) to the judiciary within the framework of universal jurisdiction based on the Turkish Penal Code, reported IFFRAS.
A total of 112 figures, consisting of Chinese political officials, “concentration camp” directors, police officers, domestic security personnel and administrators, were reported to the prosecutor’s office. The names of 19 people from Xinjiang, including nine Turkish citizens, appear as complainants.
Some of them are as follows – Medina Nazimi, who is Uyghur, said her sister Mevlide Hilal has been imprisoned in a Chinese camp for four years despite being a Turkish citizen; Nur Muhammet Uygur, said that he has been living in Turkey since 2016 and has not heard from his family; Mafiret Emin, a university student, said she has not heard from her family for five years and Cevlan Shirmehmet, said that he came to Turkey for education and studied in Law School. His mother was held in the concentration camp because he studied here, reported IFFRAS.
Meanwhile, some of the Uyghurs living in Turkey have criticized Turkey’s approach to China after the two nations agreed to an extradition treaty.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in March 2021, that the deal was similar to those Turkey has with other states and denied it would lead to Uyghurs being sent back to China.
Some Turkish opposition leaders have accused the government of overlooking Uyghur rights in favour of other interests with China, which the government denies.
In Xinjiang, ethnic Uyghur Muslims have been subjected to years of abuse because of their identity and culture. According to UN data, at least 1 million Uyghurs are kept against their will in places Beijing calls “vocational training centers” but which critics call places for indoctrination, abuse and torture.
As many as 1.6 million Uyghurs have left China to live abroad, according to the World Uyghur Congress. Rights groups, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, accuse Beijing of oppressing 12 million Uyghurs, most of whom are Muslims, reported IFFRAS.