Statement by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy, in response to a question about the serious human rights violations against the Uyghur Turks and the death of the folk poet Abdurehim Heyit

Practices violating the fundamental human rights of Uyghur Turks and other Muslim communities in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have worsened, especially in the past two years, and have been brought to the agenda of the international community .

In particular, the official declaration of the "Sinification of All Religions and Beliefs" policy in October 2017 was another step towards the goal of eliminating the ethnic, religious and cultural identities of the Uyghur Turks and other Muslim communities in the region.

It is no longer a secret that more than one million Uighur Turks exposed to arbitrary arrests are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in internment camps and prisons. Uighurs who are not detained in the camps are under heavy pressure.

Our brothers and our citizens of Uyghur origin living abroad can not receive news from their relatives in the region. Thousands of children have been removed from their parents and orphaned.

The reintroduction of internment camps in the 21st century and the policy of systematic assimilation led by the Chinese authorities against the Uyghur Turks is a great shame for humanity.

We expressed our views on the tragedy in the Xinjiang region to the authorities of China at all levels.

In such an environment, we learned with deep sorrow the death in his second year of imprisonment of the distinguished folk poet Abdurehim Heyit, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for one of his songs. This tragedy has further reinforced the reaction of Turkish public opinion to the serious human rights violations committed in the Xinjiang region. We expect this legitimate response to be taken into account by the Chinese authorities.

We respectfully commemorate Abdurehim Heyit and all our brothers who lost their lives defending their Turkish and Muslim identity.

On this occasion, we invite the Chinese authorities to respect the fundamental human rights of the Uighur Turks and to close the internment camps.

We call on the international community and the United Nations Secretary-General to take effective measures to put an end to the human tragedy in Xinjiang.

Source: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs