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Turkey calls on China to shut down Uighur "concentration camps"

Turkey calls on China to shut down Uighur

Aksoy said Turkey has shared with China its position on "all levels" and urged authorities to close the detention facilities and respect human rights.

But China on Sunday released a video showing a man who identified himself as Heyit saying that he was still alive.

In the statement, Aksoy mentioned the alleged death of 57-year-old Abdurehim Heyit, a well-known Uighur singer and poet.

But a spokesman from China's embassy in Turkey said the idea China was violating human rights was "totally inconsistent with the facts and are totally unacceptable to China".

Uighurs living in Turkey and their supporters, some carrying coffins representing Uighurs who died in China's far-western Xinjiang Uighur region, chant slogans as they stage a protest in Istanbul, against what they call as oppression by Chinese government to Muslim Uighurs in the province.AP In a statement Saturday Feb. 9, 2019, Turkey's foreign ministry has called China's treatment of its minority Uighurs "a great cause of shame for humanity".

Turkey called on the worldwide community and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres "to take effective steps to end the human tragedy in Xinjiang region".

China has interned an estimated 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in re-education camps, where they are forced to renounce Islam and swear fealty to ruling Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.

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Beijing has faced an outcry from activists, scholars, foreign governments and United Nations rights experts over what they call mass detentions and strict surveillance of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and other Muslim groups who call Xinjiang home.

Compared to China's ethnically homogenous Han majority, Uyghurs are an ethnic group of Turkic origins who have been slowly outnumbered since widescale Han migration to Xinjiang began after 1949.

That statement had come in response to a question about recent reports that Heyit had died while in Chinese detention, having been "sentenced to eight years in prison for one of his songs".

"In my view, it seems that China's actions in Xinjiang are finally crossing a red line among the world's Muslim communities, at least in Turkey, but quite possibly elsewhere".

Global rights groups say China routinely coerces detainees into making videotaped confessions which are then broadcast through state media to serve the government's propaganda objectives.

"I'm now in good health and have never been abused", he said, according to the subtitled video. "We hope the relevant Turkish persons can distinguish between right and wrong and correct their mistakes", said Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry.

After months of denying their existence, Chinese authorities, under increasing outside pressure, acknowledged the camps, terming them vocational training centres.