Skip to main content

Uighurs no longer feel safe in Turkey

Despite the brotherhood accorded to them as kinsmen and coreligionists, Uighurs in Turkey increasingly live in fear of deportation to China.
A masked Uighur boy takes part in a protest against China, at the courtyard of Fatih Mosque, a common meeting place for pro-Islamist demonstrators in Istanbul, Turkey, November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Murad Sezer  SEARCH "SEZER NOURMUHAMMED" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. - RC1EFCCF5820

Turkey sees itself as a leading supporter of the Uighurs, its Turkic kinsmen and co-religionists in China’s autonomous Xinjiang region who are bearing the brunt of Beijing’s repressive efforts to “Sinicize” all religions in the country.

Nevertheless, Uighurs in East Turkestan — as Uighurs as well as Turks know Xinjiang — are increasingly looking to the West for support as Ankara’s reluctance to upset its ties with China becomes more apparent.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.