By Sudha Ramachandran
November 11, 2020
Turkey’s relations with China have undergone a sea change in recent years, with deepening bilateral cooperation. Ankara’s economic dependence on China and thus susceptibility to its pressure is rising, and it has led to a shift in Turkey’s policy towards the Uighurs, China’s Turkic minority. Turkey’s decades-old policy of supporting the Uighurs is changing; it is no longer the safe haven it once was for Uighurs fleeing Chinese repression and Turkey is reportedly deporting them to China. The Uighurs risk losing their strongest, if not only, supporter in the Muslim world as China’s role in Turkey’s economy continues to expand. The shift in Turkey’s stance toward the Uighurs is likely to be permanent. It ultimately speaks of the primacy of economic concerns over nationalism.
By Micha’el Tanchum
February 20, 2019
Turkey's recent stern rebuke of China's treatment of its Turkic Muslim, Uighur minority constitutes a stunning policy reversal by Ankara after more than three years of accommodating Beijing's policies in Xinjiang province. The Turkish government's belated condemnation of China's internment camps in Xinjiang was prompted by an erroneous claim of the death in detention of a revered performer of Uighur traditional music. The timing was also motivated by the mounting pressure ahead of Turkey's March 31stelections from growing Turkish nationalist outrage over the Uighur's plight. Ankara's reversion to the nationalist line on Xinjiang reveals the inherent limit of Sino-Turkish cooperation, as Turkish nationalism's core element of Pan-Turkic solidarity poses an enduring threat to Beijing's vital interests in Xinjiang and its strategic ambitions across Turkic Central Asia..
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.