Saturday, February 28, 2015

Uighurs flee China for Turkey in search of peace

State crackdowns prompt China’s Uighurs to risk long, perilous journeys in search of security and stability

Al Jazeera - February 3, 2015

By Sumeyye Ertekin

Many of the hundreds of ethnic Uighurs who have fled China illegally to escape religious persecution and discrimination have made harrowing journeys to reach Turkey. But those who have finally settled in state housing in the city of Kayseri, in central Turkey, say despite the sufferings of their journey, they needed to escape injustice at home.
The Xinjiang region of western China, called East Turkestan by Uighur separatists, is home to about 10 million Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim ethnic group. Uighurs say they are repressed in their homeland and are unable to practice their religion freely. A 2012 Amnesty International report highlights incidents of "detailed widespread enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment of Uighurs" and harsh retribution against those who seek information about missing relatives.
The Chinese authorities say Uighurs are separatists and "terrorists."