Turkish PM Compares Violence In China To Genocide


11.07.2009 14:19

Turkey’s prime minister on Friday compared ethnic violence in China’s
Xinjiang province to genocide, escalating criticism of Beijing
following this week’s killing of at least 156 people — including
Turkic-speaking, Muslim Uighurs, the Associated Press reports.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strong words came amid daily
demonstrations in Turkey protesting the clashes in Xinjiang’s capital
of Urumqi between Han Chinese and minority Uighurs, who share ethnic
and cultural bonds to Turks. Hundreds of Turks prayed for the victims
and set Chinese flags on fire on Friday in protests in Ankara and

"These incidents in China are as if they are genocide," said
Erdogan. "We ask the Chinese government not to remain a spectator to
these incidents.

There is clearly a savagery here."

The Chinese government has already imposed curfews and flooded the
streets of Urumqi with security forces to avoid a repeat of the
running street battles earlier in the week.

The AP reminds that "Turkey itself is extremely sensitive to the use
of the term "genocide." Armenia says 1.5 million Armenians were slain
by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I in what Armenians and
several other nations recognize as the first genocide of the 20th
century. Turkey vehemently rejects the allegation, saying that the
death toll was inflated and that Armenians died in civil unrest as
the Ottoman Empire collapsed."

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