Friday, April 3, 2015

Turkey, China fight over Uighurs detained in Thailand

By Miles Yu

The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2015  

A diplomatic dispute has erupted over China’s and Turkey’s competing claims for 17 ethnic Uighurs who were detained in Thailand on charges of illegal border-crossing. Each is demanding the Uighurs’ return.  The Uighurs entered Thailand via Cambodia to escape their homeland in China’s Central Asian region of Xinjiang, where ethnic tensions between the Uighurs and the Chinese government have escalated in recent years.  The Uighurs are Turkic Muslims who live mostly inside Xinjiang, which was conquered by China’s Qing dynasty (1644-1911).  Because of ethnic, cultural and linguistic affinities, Turkey has been actively involved in improving the Uighurs’ lot in communist China. Ankara has been vocal in criticizing China for its mistreatment of the ethnic minority group.