Honorable President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
The recent news reports about your comments on the Uyghur situation after your official visit to China have deeply hurt us, the overseas Uyghur community around the world. That is not because of the false reports about our situation, but because these reports do not match your international image as a world leader and friend of the oppressed people all around the world. Ten years ago, you were the only foreign government leader who called the Chinese massacre on July 5 in Urumqi a genocide.
How can those people who suffered from the Chinese genocide be happy without holding its perpetuators accountable while more and more concentration camps are established to keep terrorizing the Uyghurs in East Turkistan?
The AKP administration has called the Chinese concentration camps in East Turkistan as the source of shame for humanity. How can the Uyghur nation be happy without ending this shameful act? I don’t believe Turkish national leaders would say such an illogical and absurd statement.
Since the news came from Chinese media, I doubted its credibility because it has been a unique Chinese tradition and political habit to fabricate news and distort the facts. As I guess, Turkish media reported that you have said: “We wish Uyghur people a happy and free life”. But the foreign media are still reporting your words, “Uyghurs are enjoying happy lives,” taking it from Chinese media. I demand you and your government to make a statement on this false information which damages your image and our interest.
International media reported that a Turkish delegation is going to visit East Turkistan. As it was known for all, China is a one-party dictatorship, which does not allow its citizens to understand reality and block free communication. It is not secret for observers to see that China is insulting the wisdom of the international community by claiming it as a vocational school even after exposure of satellite images, governmental bid contracts and testimonies of camp witnesses and victims. If the Turkish government could persuade the Chinese government to let the delegation and other international communities to investigate independently, we, Uyghur activists, support this idea and thank the Turkish government. If this delegation follows Chinese rules and say that the Uyghurs are leading a happy and free life, a statement that only makes China happy, it will, not only, hurt Turkish national reputation, but also put the lives of 3 million Uyghurs in further jeopardy who are struggling between life and death in Chinese concentration camps. To avoid such a consequence, we ask you to give up on this trip as the EU did earlier.
In the end, we would like to gently remind you of the huge sacrifices that the Uyghur people in exile have been making in order to put the concentration camps in East Turkistan at the spotlight of the international agenda. If this agenda is disrupted to the interest of China, the Uyghurs will never tolerate.
We hope your image as a unique Muslim leader who stands up for the oppressed people will not be tarnished irreparably.
Ms Rebiya Kadeer
The President of the Indo-Pacific Freedom Alliance
Leader of the Uyghur National Movement