Saturday, January 31, 2015

China Accuses Turks of Aiding Illegal Travel

Ten Turkish Nationals to Be Tried for Allegedly Helping Citizens Cross Borders

By Emre Peker And Chun Han Wong

The Wall Street Journal - Jan. 15, 2015

Chinese authorities are preparing to put 10 Turkish nationals on trial on allegations they aided illegal travel, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday, as a security clampdown on unrest in western China buffets the two countries’ otherwise strengthening ties.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Chinese prosecutors have accused two of the suspects with “organizing people to illegally cross borders,” and the other eight people with “selling travel documents.” Though the ministry didn’t say whom the Turkish nationals were accused of assisting, China’s state-run Global Times newspaper, which first reported the arrests this week, identified them as Uighurs, a Turkic group from western China.
China’s foreign and police ministries declined to comment on the arrests, which the Turkish government said took place in November.
News of the arrests of the Turkish nationals comes amid persisting troubles in Xinjiang, a Chinese territory abutting Central Asia that the mainly Muslim Uighurs regard as their homeland.