Trabzon / Seyed Ahmet Aksik / Anatolia

The “East Turkistan Platform” announced on Saturday that it seeks to shed light on the human rights violations practiced by China against the Uyghur Turks.

In a speech during an event in the northern Turkish state of Trabzon, Mirza Ahmet Ilyasoglu, spokesperson for the platform, said that there are more than 3 million Uyghur Muslims languishing in Chinese “concentration camps”.

He stressed that the platform seeks to inform the Turkish people about China’s “genocide” at the ethnic, cultural and political level and human rights violations in East Turkestan.

He pointed out that he came to Turkey in 2007, in order to study, and after obtaining citizenship, China banned him from returning, and no longer granted him a visa to enter the country and deprived him of his family.

In turn, a member of the platform, Madinat Nazimi, said that she came to Turkey in 2007, and that her sister was born and went to East Turkestan after graduating from Istanbul University to take care of their sick mother, but she could not return.

As for the member Nur Mehmet Uygur, he said that he lost almost all his family members due to the practices of China, and he has been living in Turkey since 2016.

China has controlled the territory of East Turkestan since 1949, which is the home of the Turkic Muslim Uyghur minority, and calls it “Xinjiang”, meaning “the new frontier.”

Official statistics indicate that there are 30 million Muslims in the country, 23 million of whom are Uyghurs, while unofficial reports confirm that the number of Muslims is close to 100 million.

And last year, the US State Department, in its annual human rights report for 2019, accused China of holding Muslims in detention centers to erase their religious and ethnic identity, and forcing them to work as forced labour.

However, China usually says that the centers, which the international community describes as “concentration camps”, are “vocational training centers” and aim to “clear the minds of the detainees from extremist ideas.”
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