Thursday, August 3, 2017

Turkey to block anti-China media to dismay of Uighur activists

Uighur leaders fear Turkey's growing security cooperation with China will see the minority's plight forgotten

Areeb Ullah


Turkey's Uighurs community has voiced fear and concern over plans to impose a media blackout on reports critical of China, following a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Thursday.  Uighur activists fear a media blackout could lead to their plight "being forgotten" by the Turkish people after Cavusoglu agreed to stronger cooperation on security and counter-terrorism with China during the meeting in Beijing.  He said: "We take China's security as our security. We absolutely will not allow in Turkey any activities targeting or opposing China. Additionally, we will take measures to eliminate any media reports targeting China," he added.   The Uighur minority comes from the predominantly Muslim autonomous province of China, known officially as Xinjiang and locally as East Turkestan. Beijing has placed a series of restrictions on religious practice in the region and many have settled across the Middle East.  China used the meeting with Turkey to express its fears about ethnic Uyghurs fighting with militants in the Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.