From the Editor: This letter was written by Uyghur parents in the Uyghur homeland and submitted to Uyghur Times by Abduweli Ayup, a Uyghur writer, and columnist of Uyghur Times.
Dear Honorable President Erdogan,
As Uyghurs, we sincerely want to celebrate and congratulate you on once again becoming president. Congratulations!!
We just hope you remember who the Uyghurs are! Thousands of Uyghurs went to Turkey to study and do business after you opened the doors. This was undoubtedly beneficial for the Uyghurs, but upon their return to Xinjiang, they faced innumerable atrocities as a result of their time there.
Most notably, thousands of Uyghur men were thrown into prison, not because they had committed any crimes. These men are all educated and peaceful, but the Chinese authorities accused them of making bombs and training as terrorists in Turkey’s mountains, leading to sentences ranging from 5 to 20 years in prison.
Dear Honorable President Erdogan, are you aware of this situation? Or were you reelected as president to address this issue?
Mr. President, we implore you to inquire with China about when and where Turkey has allegedly prepared terrorist bases for Uyghurs. These accusations have resulted in millions of Uyghurs being unjustly imprisoned for seemingly innocent acts, such as visiting Turkey, studying there, or engaging in business activities.
Have you ever pondered or expressed concern over these accusations against Turkey? In Xinjiang, millions of mothers are in tears, and our collective grief forms a river. How can you remain silent in the face of this tragedy?
This letter comes from the hearts of those grieving mothers!! We beseech you to declare that your country is not a terrorist nest and that all the Uyghurs who have returned to Xinjiang are not criminals.
You possess detailed records about them in Turkey, and if they had committed any crime, you would have their criminal records. Please stand up for justice and do not allow yourself to become an accomplice to this evil!
Uyghur Mothers of Xinjiang Urumqi July 19, 2023