As Turkey Moves Toward China, Erdogan Silent on Uighur Muslim Genocide

Amid a growing relationship with China, Turkey has remained silent on the country’s imprisonment and population control of Uighur Muslims, the Diplomat reported last week.

Last month, a coalition of politicians from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party helped strike down a resolution in the country’s parliament that called for an investigation into China’s oppression of Uighur Muslims, who face forced labor, sexual assault, forced marriages, and infanticide in the country’s Xinjiang province.

One Turkish opposition statesman said that Erdogan’s party had “sold out” the Uighur Muslims for Chinese money. In recent years, Beijing has helped resuscitate Ankara’s failing economy through currency exchanges and billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure plans via China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

As a sign of Turkey’s growing ties with China, Erdogan has also returned Uighur refugees to Chinese authorities by deporting them to third-party countries. Despite being a Muslim-majority country, Turkey offers minimal protections for its Uighur Muslim refugees.

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