People of Turkey choose Human Rights as Erdogan prefers silence

Written By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi Updated: Apr 10, 2021, 08:51 AM(IST)

File Photo: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves after the Global Refugee Forum at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The people of Turkey share religious and linguistic ties with the Uighurs. While Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been silent on the genocide. The people, of Turkey haven't

Turkey has a large Uighur Muslim population. The community has seen widespread persecution in China's Xinjiang region. Although President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has remained silent on the Uighur genocide, China found itself sparring with its ally Turkey. 

Recently, Turkish politicians criticised China for its treatment of Uighurs. Beijing then created a situation that ultimately led to the cutting of water supply to the Chinese embassy in Ankara.

Gravitas: Turkey cuts off water supplies to Chinese embassy

On April 5, Meral Aksener, chairwoman of Turkey's opposition party, put out this tweet.

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In her tweet, she said that 'east Turkistan would become independent one day. It is reference to Xinjiang and the Baren revolution.

In the year 1990, thousands of Uighurs and Turkic minorities were killed by Chinese troops. Their fault was that they rebelled against Chinese occupation, genocide, and robbing women of their babies under the one-child policy. The Baren uprising had erupted on the 5th of April, 1990.

And on the 5th of April this year, another Turkish politician tweeted about it. He was Mansur Yavas, Mayor of Ankara.

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'although 31 years have passed, we still feel the pain of the massacre' he said

This did not go down too well with china.

The Chinese embassy in Ankara shot back with a tweet within 24 hours.

'The Xinjiang Uigur autonomous region is an integral part of Chinese territory. This is an internationally accepted and indisputable fact,' said the tweet. The embassy tagged both the Turkish leaders.

Another tweet followed.

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'China opposes any challenge to its sovereignty and reserves the right to a justified response,' it said. Again, the two leaders were tagged. The Chinese embassy in Ankara was threatening the mayor of the city!

The tweets triggered an outrage on social media. Reports say Turkey summoned the Chinese Ambassador the very same day. The next day- the spokesperson of Chinese foreign ministry openly backed the embassy's tweet

'The response of China's embassy in turkey was absolutely appropriate,' said Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson said.

Here's what happened next.

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The Ankara municipality cut water supply to the Chinese Embassy. Experts say- this is the most public spat between china and turkey in more than a decade.

Turkey is home to one of the world's largest Uighur communities, most of whom have fled the genocide in China.

The people of Turkey share religious and linguistic ties with the Uighurs. While Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been silent on the genocide. The people, of Turkey, it seems, have decided to choose Human Rights.

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