Turkey calls on China to end mass detention of Uighur Muslims

Turkey calls on China to close Uighur detention camps

Turkey calls on China to end mass detention of Uighur Muslims

Former detainees have described their ordeal, saying they were injected with unknown substances and subjected to physical and mental torture.

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".

Aksoy also said Turkey had learned of the "tragic" death in custody Saturday of Uighur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit.

His detention was considered indicative of China's determination to crack down on Uyghur intellectuals and cultural figures, which some say are attempts at cultural cleansing.

He also said the reports of Heyit's death "further strengthened the Turkish public's reaction to the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang" and called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres "to take effective steps to end the human tragedy" there.

Outside of the camps, more than 10 million Turkic Muslim minorities in the region are subjected to a dense network of surveillance systems, checkpoints and interpersonal monitoring, which severely limit their personal freedom.

A day after Turkey slammed China's alleged mistreatment of its Muslim minority population of Uighurs in the Xinjian province, Beijing has refuted the charges along with calling for Ankara to withdraw its statements.

Defending their detention camps, Beijing said that "both China and Turkey face the arduous task of fighting terrorism".

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said: "The systematic assimilation policy of Chinese authorities towards Uighur Turks is a great embarrassment for humanity".

At a regular press briefing in Beijing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying declared that the video proved Heyit was alive and that the Turkish government had made an "extremely irresponsible" mistake that it should retract and apologize for. "We are opposed to maintaining double standards on the question of fighting terrorism", it added, in a thinly-veiled reference to Turkey's campaign against Kurdish militant groups in Syria.

Droves of Uyghurs have fled, with many in Australia refusing to speak on record for fear of state reprisals against family members who live in China.

China's "re-education" camps: China denied the existence of the so-called "re-education" facilities for months before announcing they were training centers to stop the spread of terrorism and extremism following ethnic riots in 2009 and terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and elsewhere. They have provided little or no information on how many are interned within them and how long they are being held.

The dustup over Turkey's criticism contrasts with the close economic relationship between the two countries.

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