Turkey should stand up for Uyghurs and refuse to ratify China extradition treaty

Last week, China ratified an extradition treaty with Turkey and if Ankara follows suit the pact will become law, potentially putting thou...


Last week, China ratified an extradition treaty with Turkey and if Ankara follows suit the pact will become law, potentially putting thousands of Uyghurs living in Turkey at risk. China has pursued an aggressive worldwide campaign to sign such agreements as part of extraterritorial legal and extra-legal arrangements that weaken international human rights norms.

Recep Erdoğan (Left) and Xi Jinping. (Right) Photos: Wikicommons.

When I first travelled to Turkey a decade ago it was to research the Uyghur diaspora in Istanbul. While Uyghurs, as Central Asian Turks, have an ancient history of trade and settlement in the region of modern-day Turkey, in the 20th century Turkey became a safe haven for Uyghurs fleeing Chinese persecution.

In August 1949, a plane carrying Uyghur leaders who had been invited to discuss independence with Mao Zedong crashed. Their deaths were kept secret until months after the People’s Liberation Army had fully occupied the region of Xinjiang, known as East Turkestan by Uyghur advocates. Thousands of Uyghur refugees escaped China into neighbouring countries.

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Newsrust: Turkey should stand up for Uyghurs and refuse to ratify China extradition treaty
Turkey should stand up for Uyghurs and refuse to ratify China extradition treaty
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Newsrust
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