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Turkish Uyghurs protest against Chinese occupation on its 73rd National Day
Istanbul: A massive protest by Turkish Uyghurs was staged in Istanbul on Saturday to protest grotesque human rights violations by China on the occasion of its 73rd National Day.
Uyghur NGOs and the Uyghur community in Istanbul, on October 1, marked China's National Day as the beginning of an era of occupation, persecution, starvation and inhuman crimes against the peoples of East Turkestan, reported India Blooms.
Uyghur NGOs protested near the Chinese Consulate in the Sariyer district of Istanbul against the Chinese policies of assimilation and genocide.
Uyghur protestors numbering around 1000-1200 included all sections of the Uyghur community including women, children and the elderly, reported India Blooms.
Uyghur leaders spearheading the protest included Hidayetullah Oghuzhan - President of East Turkestan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA), Abduselam Teklimakan - President of East Turkestan New Generation Movement (ETNGM), Nur Muhammad Majid - visiting representative/ lawyer from East Turkestan Australia Association, Rushan Abbas - noted Uyghur activist and Founder & Executive Director of Campaign for Uyghurs, members of Uyghur Academy and several others.
The protest started with the recitation of the verses of holy Quran and the national song of East Turkestan. Protestors raised slogans against Chinese policies and Chinese President Xi Jinping including 'China Stop Genocide', 'Release our relatives', 'Where are our relatives' and 'Stop Starvation'.
Protestors displayed photographs of their family members missing in Chinese internment camps whom they have not been able to contact for many years, reported India Blooms.
A motorbike rally of around fifty Uyghur activists carrying flags of Turkey and East Turkestan passed near the protest site. A signature campaign on a large banner appealing for the support of the United Nations was also showcased.
Hidayetullah Oghuzhan gave a press statement stating, "Chinese attempts to destroy Uyghurs- their language and culture would not be successful.....the entire world is watching the inhumane crimes committed by China in its camps......the fight against China will not stop till East Turkestan is liberated from Chinese occupation."
He appealed for a stop to the Chinese genocidal policy being carried out in the cities of Kashgar, Gulca, Urumqi and other places in East Turkestan under the pretext of quarantine, reported India Blooms.
Nur Muhammad Majid said, "We are thankful for ....the enormous support of the country of Turkey and the people of Turkey.....we are here to express our strongest condemnation of one terrorist nation...China...in the last 73 years, China has occupied East Turkestan unlawfully, illegally, by using military force...by using...infiltration policy....East Turkestan has become an open prison where millions of Uyghur Muslims....Turkic Muslims....are detained in Chinese concentration labour camps....till recently the world was unaware of these realities.....China has been detaining 5 to 10 million Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims in inhuman conditions...depriving them of basic rights...now UN has published a report on this....China has not only occupied our territories,....it is hijacking our culture, hijacking our resources, killing our people, abducting our children, raping our women, sterilizing our mothers....but we are not weak, we are not defeated, we are not giving up our cause..."
Majid raised slogans 'China is a terror state,' 'Genocide-Made in China' and 'Massacre-Made in China' which were echoed by the gathered crowd, reported India Bloom.
He added, "We have to fight till the last drop of our blood...this fight is just.... this fight is a fight against Chinese terrorism."
He expressed dissatisfaction with the Indonesian government for the recent deportations of Uyghurs to China and appealed for support to all nations holding any Uyghur Muslims in their custody.
He also called upon the US, Canada, EU, Turkey, Qatar, Malaysia, Indonesia and other members of the international community to support the Uyghur cause, reported India Bloom.
Earlier, Hidayetullah Oguzhan and Abdusalam Teklimakan among others had given the call for protest and press statement near the Chinese Consulate to condemn the genocide and crimes against humanity committed by China and to call upon International Organizations for their support.
Ankara branch of the International Union of East Turkestan NGOs organized protests and press conferences at Ulus Ataturk Meydani, in Ankara city centre, against the forceful occupation of East Turkistan by China since October 1st 1949.
Abdulhamid Pamir, in charge of Ankara Cultural Center along with Future Party Vice President Serkan Ozcan addressed the gathering, reported India Bloom.
Pamir said, "East Turkestan people have been deprived of their right to live their own identity and teach their children. And due to the cultural destruction that China has been carrying out for the last 9 years, more than 16 thousand mosques were destroyed, and clergy and intellectuals were arrested or tortured to death. After Xi Jin Ping was elected president of China, he set a new mission for China and announced the Road Belt Initiative. Since then, invading China has begun to disrupt the world order, render international organizations dysfunctional, openly violate international values and principles, and support all kinds of corruption. China is clearly a threat to the world."
Providing information about the situation of 4 Uyghur Muslims who escaped from the persecution of China and took refuge in Indonesia and have been imprisoned since 2015, Pamir said, "Despite the efforts and insistent demands of the international community and East Turkestan organizations, in September 2020 and in July this year, they should be extradited to China and The fact that he was left to die has deeply saddened us East Turkestan people in the diaspora."
Emphasizing that China continues to attack people of Turkish descent in the occupied territories, with various excuses, Pamir noted that China has become the symbol of human rights violations and genocide around the world. Pamir called on Turkish and Muslim countries, saying, "Don't stay silent about the persecution."
Thousands of Uyghurs uprooted from their homeland live in Turkey where they continue to protest against the Chinese persecution of their brethren.
Lately, their protests have acquired a renewed momentum after reports surfaced of Uyghur Muslims in different places in East Turkestan being forced into a 'starvation genocide' in their own homes under the pretext of Covid -19 quarantine. Doors of their houses had been welded together depriving them of essential supplies and leaving them to die.
The protests are being supported by a wide cross-section of Uyghur NGOs. Local representatives from mainstream political parties have also participated occasionally in a show of solidarity.
Other local organizations like the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (IFAM) and the proscribed Islamist organisation Hizb Ut Tahrir have also held gatherings in support of their Uyghur brothers and sisters drawing a sizeable response from the local Turkish populace, reported India Bloom.
During the recently held meeting (September 17-18) of the Uyghur Academy, it was also discussed that a group of Uyghur intellectuals would visit over a hundred universities in Turkey to raise awareness amongst the young generation about the Chinese atrocities against Uyghurs.
Noted Uyghur activist, Rushan Abbas whose sister Dr Gulshan Abbas is herself detained in a Chinese 'internment' camp is also presently on a visit to Turkey to meet the local Uyghur leadership, reported India Bloom. (ANI)