World Bulletin/News Desk
Bülent Yıldırım, chairman of the Humanitarian Aid Foundation (İHH), has stated that China has surrounded East Turkestan with hundreds of thousands of troops, and he warns the international community of a possible “massacre” in East Turkestan, home to the Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighur people.
During a press conference led by İHH on Wednesday, several representatives of the nongovernmental organization based in Turkey called on the international community, particularly Islamic nations, to take action to prevent a possible massacre in East Turkestan by Chinese forces.
“Turkey, which has stood by East Turkestan throughout its history, should put in all its diplomatic efforts as soon as possible to prevent a possible massacre from happening. It is a must for us to make an effort to stop this,” Yıldırım said.
Turkey, which borders Syria, has a sizable number of Uighur people, many of who are exiles disgruntled with Beijing.
Clashes in recent months have killed at least 56 people in East Turkestan, a region that has long been home to a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule among parts of the Muslim Uighur population. The recent tension comes ahead of the fourth anniversary of riots in the regional capital, Urumqi, in which the government says almost 200 people were killed.
Yıldırım added that he believes China would take violent actions against the Muslim Uighur people soon, adding that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) should call Islamic countries for an urgent meeting.
“I am making a call to Muslim leaders. Use the economic ties between your countries and China. Then, China would definitely not commit a massacre. You [Muslims leaders] are not only responsible for your people, but you are responsible for the innocent people all around the world. Therefore, the OIC should react … and make a call against China. Muslim leaders should not forget that if they use their economic power against Chinese interest, China would drag into an economic crisis,” Yıldırım said.
China's state media have ratcheted up its rhetoric, blaming the recent violence on "terrorism, extremism and separatism" and making reports that some Uighurs are gaining experience fighting in war in Syria.
“We warn China to be more cautious. The people of East Turkestan are not alone,” Yıldırım stated.
China has responded to the unrest for the coming anniversary with a massive show of force, pouring even more security into the already tightly controlled region.
State media have shown fleets of armored anti-riot vehicles and trucks loaded with paramilitary police forces rolling along main streets. Gun-toting, helmeted troops were shown assembled on a public square in Urumqi being sworn-in before being deployed for patrols.Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Temmuz 2013, 18:28