People of Turkey choose Human Rights as Erdogan prefers silence
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.
#BarınKatliamı’nda Çin esaretine boyun eğmeyen Doğu Türkistanlı soydaşlarımızı, şehadetlerinin yıl dönümünde rahmetle anıyorum…— Meral Akşener (@meral_aksener) April 5, 2021
Esaret altındaki soydaşlarımızı unutmayacak, uğradıkları zulümlere sessiz kalmayacağız.
Doğu Türkistan bir gün mutlaka bağımsız olacak! pic.twitter.com/VoA7m1suh8
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.
'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.
Çin tarafı, herhangi bir kişi veya gücün Çin’in egemenliğine ve toprak bütünlüğüne herhangi bir şekilde meydan okumasına kararlılıkla karşı çıkmakta ve bunu şiddetle kınamaktadır. Çin tarafı, haklı karşılık verme hakkını saklı tutmaktadır.@meral_aksener @mansuryavas06— Çin Büyükelçiliği Ankara/中国驻土耳其使馆 (@ChinaEmbTurkey) April 6, 2021
'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.
After the Chinese Embassy targeted the mayor of Ankara, Ankara Municipality cuts water to Chinese Embassy. pic.twitter.com/wDjjUXCJD5— ibrahim Haskoloğlu (@haskologlu) April 7, 2021
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.