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
The Chinese authorities say Uighurs are separatists and "terrorists."