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Turkey supports China in fighting terrorism in Xinjiang: experts


20:54, July 03, 2013

ISTANBUL, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Turkey will work with China to fight separatist and terrorist activities in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, analysts said Wednesday.

Sixteen knife-wielding religious extremists killed 24 people last Wednesday in Shanshan County of Turpan Prefecture. Local police shot and killed 11 of the attackers and apprehended the other five.

"Violence needs to stop. Terrorism has no ground no matter what causes they are acting on," Turkish political analyst Abdullah Bozkurt told Xinhua, adding that Turkey and China are committed to cooperating on fighting terrorism.

"Turkey has declared its full support of a united China," Gokhan Bacik, director of the Middle East Research Center at Zirve University and an analyst on Turkey-China relations.

Pointing out that Turkey also suffers from terrorist activities originating from Kurdish problems, Bacik said his country understands and respects Beijing's determination to fight terrorism to maintain the stability in Xinjiang.

"Turkey-China relations are developing very well in recent years. Turkey does not want to risk its good relations with China on the Xinjiang issue. Thus, the Turkish government acts very sensible and conscious in voicing their opinions on Xinjiang," Bacik told Xinhua.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement Saturday voicing concerns over the unrest in Xinjiang.

"With historical and cultural ties, Turkey sees Xinjiang as a friendship bridge between China and Turkey," the statement said, adding that Turkey believes that the Chinese government would safeguard stability and safety in the region.

Bozkurt said Turkey was willing to work with China to solve the Xinjiang issue.

Firstly, he said, from an economic perspective, Turkish companies have invested in Xinjiang's economic zones that could bring more business opportunities to local Uygurs.

Secondly, he added, from a religious perspective, Turkey always advocates a moderate Islam interpretation against extremism. More religious communications and cultural exchanges between Turkey and Xinjiang could help shun religious radicalism.

"Thirdly, from a political perspective, both Turkish and Chinese leaders have agreed on cooperation on fighting terrorism. Terrorists are no legal representatives of the demands of local people," Bozkurt said.

Bacik said he believed the Chinese government is doing its best to integrate Uygurs through huge economic investments in Xinjiang.

"I am sure the economic integration and improvement of the living standard of Uygurs would bring stability to the region," he said.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited China in June 2009 and emphasized that Turkey strongly opposed separatist activities. He said Turkey was ready to boost its cooperation with China.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said during a visit to China in 2010 that Turkey values its ties with China and would uphold the one-China policy and crack down on any activities in Turkey that aim to sabotage China's sovereignty and threaten its territorial integrity.

Almost 30,000 Uygurs live as diasporas in Turkey. Suggesting that many Turks view Uygur people as their brothers and sisters, Bacik said Turks feel psychologically close to Uygurs.

"Turkey wants to see Uygurs live happily and integrate well with their home country China," Bacik said.


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