Uighurs protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Turkey
Ankara, February 22: Uighurs living in Turkey recently gathered at a protest rally near the Chinese consulate in Istanbul and demanded that the Chinese government inform them about the condition of their relatives detained in the Xinjiang camp.
Protesting people, including children, the elderly, academics and businessmen, held pictures of missing relatives.
"China, stop the genocide" - the slogan rose from the crowd across the police barricade. The banner read, "Chinese government, release the innocent members of my family", "China, where is my son", "Where are my brothers".
"We are demanding the release of our relatives detained in Xinjiang and other areas at the moment," said Burhan Uluiul, an Uyghur educator. He complained that China was lying to the world about the Uyghurs.
Uighurs in Turkey have been protesting since mid-December, fearing that China's 2016 extradition treaty with Turkey could force them to return to China.
China's anti-Muslim policy has sparked outrage around the world. According to Human Rights Watch, more than a million Turkish Muslims are currently being persecuted in China. China, however, has dismissed the allegations as "false and defamatory".
There are currently more than 50,000 Turkish-speaking Uighur Muslims in Turkey. Many of them have fled to Turkey since the crackdown on Uighurs in China. But many of their relatives are in China.
Bujura Paltahasi said that she has not heard any news about her husband Aldul Qadir since 2017. Al-Qadir was detained at the Xinjiang airport by Chinese border police. "I have not been able to contact him since then. I am worried about my husband's life," she said.
Many more Uyghurs have complained about not receiving any news from the detained relatives.
Speaking at the gathering, Salih Emin, as a spokesperson, appealed to people around the world to speak out and do something about this crime against humanity.
"The Chinese government does not want human rights groups to investigate the situation in China because they are afraid. China does not want the genocide to be true and for the whole world to know," Emin said.
Emin has requested the Turkish Foreign Ministry to talk to China about contacting relatives who are missing or detained in China. He thanked the people of Turkey for their support.
China may have carried out genocide against Uighur Muslims and minorities in the country's Xinjiang province, according to a report by the US Congressional Executive Commission (CECC).
Turkish-speaking Muslims, including Uighurs, are being held in prisons in the name of vocational training, and are being brutally tortured in Chinese prisons. The United Nations says China has detained more than a million Uighur Muslims. However, the Chinese side has denied the allegations.
Various human rights organizations around the world, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have strongly criticized the detention of millions of Chinese minorities, most of them Muslims.
According to The Economist, Uighur Muslims are being forced to believe the doctrine of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Economist reports that democracies such as the United Kingdom must come forward to stop China's persecution of Uighurs. At the same time, these detention camps have to be called "gulags" of the Soviet labor camp. The report also described the brutal torture of Uyghur detention camps in The Economist.
A Uyghur detainee told The Economist that detainees in detention camps were being forced to believe in Xin Jinping's ideology.
During the rule of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union in the 1940's, millions of people were taken prisoner and sent to labor camps.
There they were forced to work in inhumane conditions. These were called gulag. More than a million prisoners died here - due to starvation, disease and overwork.