Turkish minister meets Chinese PM on killings of Uighurs

Turkish State Minister Caglayan met Chinese PM Wen Jiabao.

Turkish minister meets Chinese PM on killings of Uighurs

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish State Minister, who is on a formal visit to China, met on Monday Chinese Prime Minister to discuss killings of Uighurs, state-run news agency said. 

Zafer Caglayan is in China as the special representative of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He is the first Turkish minister visiting China after the killings of Uighurs in Xinjiang province a name China called in 1955 in July.

Chinese Primer Wen Jiabao said he was pleased with Caglayan's visit to his country as a special envoy of Erdogan, adding that Caglayan's visit was a sign of importance Erdogan attached to relations between Turkey and China.

"China attaches great importance to relations, too. We want to strengthen and improve bilateral relations with the principle of mutual respect, equality and interest," Wen Jiabao said.

Later, the meeting continued behind closed door.

Uighur demonstrators took the streets in Urumqi on July 5 to protest against Han Chineses' attacks on Uighurs workers at a factory in south China in June which left two Uighurs dead. Hans in Urumqi sought bloody revenge two days later.

World Uighur Congress said that near 800 Uigurs were killed during a week-violence after Han Chineses attacks and following intervention of China forces. The China governmnet put the death toll 197.

Video appeared showing Chinese lynch that sparked Uighur protests. Exiled Uighur leaders said the protests were peaceful until security forces over-reacted with deadly force.

East Turkistan was occupied by the communist China in 1949 and its name was changed in 1955.

Turkey's stance

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan called killings "genocide".

He said: "The incidents in China are, simply put, a genocide. There's no point in interpreting this otherwise."

Turkey keeps protests against China violence in Uighur region and a Minister and a Turkish consumer organization has called for boycott of Chinese goods.

Many Uighurs resent Han Chinese rule, complaining they're marginalised economically and politically in their own land, while having to tolerate a rising influx of Han Chinese migrants.

Meanwhile, human rights groups accuse Beijing of using claims of "terrorism" as an excuse to crack down on peaceful pro-independence sentiment and expressions of Uighur identity.

East Turkistan, that has 8 million Uighurs, borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, has abundant oil reserves and is China's largest natural gas-producing region.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Eylül 2009, 11:50