Violence in China’s Xinjiang Region “A Kind of Genocide”?

Reported by BBC , 10 July 2009
"There is no other way of commenting on this event," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
He spoke after a night-time curfew was reimposed in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, where Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese clashed last Sunday.

Reported by BBC , 10 July 2009
"There is no other way of commenting on this event," Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
He spoke after a night-time curfew was reimposed in Xinjiang's capital, Urumqi, where Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese clashed last Sunday.
The death toll from the violence there has now risen from 156 to 184, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reports. More than 1,000 people were injured.
Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country, shares linguistic and religious links with the Uighurs in China's western-most region.
"The event taking place in China is a kind of genocide," Mr Erdogan told reporters in Turkey's capital, Ankara.
"There are atrocities there, hundreds of people have been killed and 1,000 hurt. We have difficulty understanding how China's leadership can remain a spectator in the face of these events."
The Turkish premier also urged Beijing to "address the question of human rights and do what is necessary to prosecute the guilty".
Mr Erdogan's comments came a day after Turkish Trade and Industry Minister Nihat Ergun urged Turks to boycott Chinese goods.
Beijing has so far not publicly commented on Mr Erdogan's criticism.
But it said that of the 184 people who died, 137 were Han Chinese.
Uighurs defiant
Earlier on Friday, the Chinese authorities reimposed a night-time curfew in Urumqi.
The curfew had been suspended for two days after officials said they had the city under control.
Mosques in the city were ordered to remain closed on Friday and notices were posted instructing people to stay at home to worship.
But at least two opened after crowds of Uighurs gathered outside and demanded to be allowed in to pray on the holiest day of the week in Islam.
"We decided to open the mosque because so many people had gathered. We did not want an incident," a policeman outside the White Mosque in a Uighur neighbourhood told the AP news agency.
After the prayers, riot police punched and kicked a small group of Uighurs protesters, who demanded the release of men detained after last Sunday's violence, the BBC's Quentin Sommerville says.
Meanwhile, the city's main bus station was reported to be crowded with people trying to escape the unrest.
Extra bus services had been laid on and touts were charging up to five times the normal face price for tickets, AFP news agency said.
"It is just too risky to stay here. We are scared of the violence," a 23-year-old construction worker from central China said.
The violence began on Sunday when a Uighur rally to protest against a deadly brawl between Uighurs and Han Chinese several weeks ago in a toy factory in southern Guangdong province turned violent.
Tensions have been growing in Xinjiang for many years, as Han migrants have poured into the region, where the Uighur minority is concentrated.
Many Uighurs feel economic growth has bypassed them and complain of discrimination and diminished opportunities.
  1. My question to the Turkish PM
    My question to the Turkish PM is – How come the killing of some 200 Chinese is a genocide, and yet murdering 300,000 – 400,000 Armenians, by Turkish estimates, is just a "tragic event".
    I guess it all depends who is the victim and who is the perpetrator.

  2. If Your House Is Made of Glass…

    Editorial: Armenian Weekly Staff  13 July 2009

    On July 10, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted to the killing of the Uighurs—an ethnically Turkic group—in China by likening the atrocities to genocide. More than 150 people died during the ethnic clashes earlier this week, including many Uighurs.

    “These incidents in China are as if they are genocide,” Erdogan said. “We ask the Chinese government not to remain a spectator to these incidents. There is clearly a savagery here.”

    Doubtless, the events in China should be condemned. Yet, there is another factor at play here, which reminds us of the saying, “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

    Turkey has its own legacy of genocide and denial, as the killing of 1.5 million Armenians remains unrecognized. It also has Kurdish blood on its hands.

    For the Turkish prime minister to have the audacity to compare the killing of a few dozen Uighurs to genocide while it continues to spend millions to deny the killing of a million and a half Armenians is—if we must put it mildly—ridiculous.

    But it also begs the following: Would the prime minister—who seems quick to use the term genocide to refer to the Uighurs or, before that, the atrocities in Eastern Europe and the Palestinian territories—refer to the “events of 1915” as genocidal?

    After all, even by the official Turkish account, there were more than 150 people who were killed in 1915…

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