Some people in Turkey encourage terrorists, separatism in China: Beijing

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on April 7 that some people in Turkey were encouraging terrorists and separatism in China with their remarks on Twitter. His comments came after Ankara summoned China's ambassador for slamming Turkish opposition leaders on Twitter.

Duvar English - Reuters 

Some people in Turkey are encouraging terrorists and separatism in China with their remarks on Twitter, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on April 7.

"We hope that people in Turkey from all walks of life can correctly, rationally and objectively view the firm position of China to protect its national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said at a daily news conference in Beijing.

Turkey called in China's ambassador on April 6 after his embassy said it had "the right to respond" to Turkish opposition leaders who criticized China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims when they issued statements referring to violence three decades ago.

The politicians, Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Akşener and Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), had marked what they called the 31st anniversary of a brief uprising by Uyghurs against the government in China's far west.

"We will not remain silent about their persecution and martyrdom," Akşener said on Twitter. Yavaş said: "We still feel the pain of the massacre" in 1990.

Ambassador Liu Shaobin was summoned to the ministry after his embassy issued a statement on Twitter denouncing the comments.

"The Chinese side determinedly opposes any person of power that in any way challenges China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and strongly condemns this," the embassy said.

"The Chinese side reserves its legitimate right to respond."

'Genocide and crimes against humanity' 

China has come under scrutiny over its treatment of its Uyghur minority, mostly Muslim people who speak a Turkic language. China has denied mistreating Uyghurs.

U.N. experts estimate at least a million Uyghurs and other Muslims are held in detention centers in northwest China's Xinjiang. The United States said in January China had committed "genocide and crimes against humanity" by repressing Uyghurs.

Many of the 40,000 Uyghurs in Turkey have criticized the government's approach to China after it approved an extradition treaty in December, which they fear may lead to them being sent back to China to face vague charges which they deny.


Hundreds of people protested as China's foreign minister visited Ankara last month.