Turkey’s ruling party expects ‘transparency’ from China in Xinjiang
Ömer Çelik, speaking at a press briefing in Ankara on Feb. 11, said that Turkey respects China's integrity and security, "but holding more than 1 million Uighur Turks in concentration camps and prisons is unlawful."
“If a transparent approach is adopted on this issue, it will create an opportunity to defuse tensions and allow everyone to understand what is happening,” he said.
Stating that the policy carried out by the country was open to assimilation in many ways, noted that many opinion leaders, artists and intellectuals of East Turkestan were missing.
China's Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 percent of Xinjiang's population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.
China stepped up its restrictions on the region in the past two years, banning men from growing beards and women from wearing veils and introducing what many experts see as the world's most extensive electronic surveillance program, according to The Wall Street Journal.
As many as 1 million Muslims in Xinjiang have been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, according to U.S. officials and UN experts.
‘France should face crimes in Africa’
Meanwhile, Çelik also criticized French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks about violent 1915 events in Anatolia.
“What France should judicially face, from Cameroon to Algeria, are the acts of human rights violations and killings by the French authorities.
"What is tragic is [French President Emmanuel Macron's] talks about facing history. Facing history must be a term that should be used in another meaning for France," he said.
"While the crimes committed by the French authorities are obvious, hiding behind a term like 'facing history' is a result of a lobby support approach of Macron, who is in political turmoil,” he said, referring to Macron's tweet about the 1915 Armenian events.
Last week, Macron announced April 24 as a day to commemorate the so-called Armenian genocide.
Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.