Uighurs Seek Turkey’s Spurning of Extradition Deal With China
Uighurs across the world seek Ankara’s snub of Chinese demand for the extradition of Uighurs as a perceived precondition for the shipment of Covid vaccines to Turkey.
After China announced this past weekend that it ratified an extradition deal signed with Turkey back in 2017, Uighurs around the world marshaled their efforts to persuade Ankara to spurn the agreement that envisions sending back Uighur Turks stranded across Turkey. The latest move startled Uighurs and generated an abiding source of concern about the state of their brethren, the majority of whose legal status is far from being properly settled in Turkey.
What animated the recent round of debate was the allegations of a precondition put by China for the shipment of Covid-19 vaccines to Turkey. This last-minute change has generated an ensuing public controversy and prompted demonstrations to protest China’s cajoling, while urging the Erdogan administration to snub Beijing.
But more than anything else, even the contemplation of the extradition deal in the Turkish parliamentary commission has revealed a deep sense of betrayal among Uighurs. They now feel that they have been left alone in the cold against the Communist Party’s global reach since the commencement of Beijing’s genocidal campaign across Turkestan through a combination of hybrid methods bent on eradicating the cultural, linguistic, religious, and even physical existence of an indigenous population living there for thousands of years. (China’s pervasive surveillance system in the Uighur region has already become a matter of public knowledge.) For Uighurs, Turkey has meant the last shelter; it stood as a second home given the fact that Anatolian Turks share the same ancestral heritage with their Uighur brethren and worship the same God of Islam. None of the multitudes of common glues that bind two people together seem to matter as decision-makers in Ankara pay more attention to the pressing needs of the flagging economy than moral charges of their discontents over the…