1. #31
    MVC Lid


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    Turkey’s Uighurs fear for future after China deportation
    Community concerned Ankara will prioritise expansion of economic ties to Beijing
    Uighur Turks protest in Ankara on the 10th anniversary of the Urumqi massacre in East Turkestan on July 5, 2019. - Nearly 200 people died during a series of violent riots that broke out on July 5, 2009 over several days in Urumqi, the capital city of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in northwestern China, between Uyghurs and Han people. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)
    Member of the Uighur community at a protest in July in the Turkish capital, Ankara © Adam Altan/AFP

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    Ayla Jean Yackley in Istanbul and Christian Shepherd in Beijing August 24 2019
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    The last time Jennetgul Tursun spoke with her sister Zinnetgul, an ethnic Uighur held in a Turkish detention centre, Zinnetgul voiced fears she would be deported to China along with her two young daughters.

    Within two weeks, the family were handed over to the Chinese authorities, Jennetgul said, a case that has stoked alarm among the sizeable Uighur diaspora in Turkey that the country is no longer the haven it has been for decades.

    “Turkey has defended so many persecuted people. I can’t understand why they turned over my sister . . . Why didn’t they protect us?” she said in an interview from her home in Saudi Arabia.

    Turkey hosts one of the largest population outside China of Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group who have faced a severe security clampdown in their native Xinjiang province. An estimated 1.5m Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities have been confined to Chinese internment camps, where human rights groups say they are forced to renounce their faith and scores have disappeared. Beijing defends the hardline measures as necessary to fight “extremism”.
    Uighur women hold East Turkestan flags at the courtyard of Fatih Mosque, a common meeting place for pro-Islamist demonstrators, during a protest against China, in Istanbul, Turkey, November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Murad Sezer SEARCH
    Uighur women and children at an Istanbul mosque during a protest against China © Murad Sezer/Reuters

    Unlike most Muslim countries, which have been silent or supportive of Beijing’s policy, Turks have rallied around the cause of the Uighurs, with whom they share a related language. The Turkish government in February called on China to close the camps, describing them as a “shame for humanity”.

    Yet there are mounting fears among Turkey’s 30,000-strong Uighur community that this commitment is weakening, and that Ankara is willing to put aside its differences with China to expand economic ties.

    Activists say Beijing is exporting its Xinjiang campaign by pushing other nations to return Uighurs who have fled China. “We know China is pressuring Turkey,” said Seyit Tumturk, head of the East Turkestan National Assembly, a Uighur rights group. “Uighurs in Turkey are on a knife’s edge.”

    Turkey has turned to China for cash as its economy has slowed over the past year, including a $3.6bn loan from a state-run Chinese bank in 2018. Bloomberg reported that China’s central bank transferred $1bn in June to boost Turkey’s foreign exchange reserves.

    We do not send anyone back to China if they face [persecution]
    Suleyman Soylu, Turkish interior minister

    During a visit last month to Beijing, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted by Chinese state media as backing his host’s policies in Xinjiang, although his office reportedly refuted the translation.

    The meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping took place as Turkey’s western allies fret that the country is aligning itself more closely with Beijing, and Moscow, amid a widening rift with the US, including over Ankara’s purchase of sophisticated Russian weapons.

    Sean Roberts, a director at The Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, said: “Turkey is less confident of its relationship with the US, and the Chinese are providing an alternative.”

    Hundreds of Uighurs are being held in Turkish refoulement centres and 40 others have lost their residency in recent months, according to activists. Turkish authorities have not released figures.

    “We do not send anyone back to China if they face [persecution]”, Suleyman Soylu, Turkish interior minister who oversees immigration policy, told reporters on Wednesday. He said Turkey had given long-term residency to about 11,000 Uighurs since 2018, part of a liberal asylum policy that has made it the world’s biggest recipient of refugees.

    In the case of Zinnetgul Tursun, she was accused of terrorism and was deported to Tajikistan after its authorities claimed she was a citizen, Mr Soylu said, promising an investigation into her case and noting that one incident does not reflect a change in Turkish policy.

    Tajik deportees who were with her on the plane to the capital Dushanbe in June saw her and at least six other Uighurs handed over to Chinese officials at the airport, according to Jennetgul Tursun. International law forbids sending people to countries where they risk being persecuted.
    Abuduani Abulaiti, a Uighur living in Turkey, fears he will be deported to China

    Abuduani Abulaiti, 42, an ethnic Uighur who arrived in Turkey in 2013, was ordered to leave the country last month after his residency application was rejected.

    Immigration officials have assured Mr Abulaiti he will not be deported to China, but he said he still feared Beijing’s “power and money” would sway Turkey. Two of his brothers are being held in Chinese camps, and a third has been missing for two years after returning home from a visit to Turkey.

    “My whole life is about living in Turkey, but the situation here has become complicated. I am anxious because anti-foreigner sentiment is rising,” Mr Abulaiti said.
    Chinese politics & policy
    Xinjiang phone app exposes how Chinese police monitor Uighur Muslims

    Most western nations have said they will not deport Uighurs, but a handful have still ended up in China. Germany has admitted mistakenly deporting a Uighur asylum seeker last year.

    An international diplomatic divide emerged at the UN last month, when 22 western countries signed a letter criticising Beijing’s campaign. That was answered by a note from 50 nations, including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, backing China. Turkey did not sign either letter.

    China’s effort to line up countries to support it in the face of western criticism over human rights abuses in Xinjiang has become a “bellwether for a shifting global order”, said the Elliott School’s Mr Roberts.

    “If Turkey was to recognise that what’s happening in China is not a mass human rights violation, that would be a huge win for China,” he said.

  2. #32
    MVC Lid


    The Times’ Exposé of China’s Detention Camps Shows How Easy It Is to Get Away With Ethnic Cleansing
    Joshua Keating
    7-9 minuten
    China is holding up to 1 million people in camps. Will anyone stop it?

    Troops in camouflage in a truck.

    Chinese security forces patrol the streets of Urumqi on July 16, 2009, in China’s Xinjiang province.

    Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

    The New York Times’ weekend exposé, based on hundreds of pages of leaked Communist Party documents, details the planning and deliberations behind the mass detention in reeducation camps of Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province, most of them members of the Uighur ethnic group. The article by Austin Ramzy and Chris Buckley documents President Xi Jinping’s belief that Islamic radicalism is akin to a “virus” that could only be cured through “a period of painful, interventionary treatment.”

    In one of the more chilling passages, officials are instructed on how to speak to family members of detained people who return from other parts of China. They are to be told their relatives are receiving “training” in order to educate them about the dangers of extremism, and while they have not broken the law, they are not allowed to leave. They are to be told that their families should “treasure this chance for free education that the party and government has provided to thoroughly eradicate erroneous thinking, and also learn Chinese and job skills.” They are also warned that there’s a point scoring system to determine when detainees can be released and that their families’ behavior can affect their score.

    Ominous as these details are, we should have seen this coming. The international community has known about abuses of the Uighurs for some time now. Survivor accounts and satellite imagery detail the extent of the detentions, surveillance, and curtailment of religious freedom that Muslims in Xinjiang are being subjected to. The U.N. has condemned China, as have senior U.S. officials including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The U.S. has placed visa restrictions and sanctions on a number of officials and entities believed to be involved with the repression of the Uighurs.

    And yet, the global response to the detention of up to 1 million people in concentration camps on the basis of religion, a systematic attempt to wipe out a cultural identity that verges on cultural genocide, still feels fairly muted. Few companies or organizations are boycotting China. In two years, the Beijing winter Olympics are likely to go off without a hitch. The U.S. response is undermined by the fact that the officials drawing attention to the camps do not include President Donald Trump, who for all his criticism of China rarely discusses human rights and did not mention Chinese Muslims in a recent high-profile speech on religious freedom.

    Authoritarian countries are growing more assertive, democratic ones are growing more ambivalent, and international legal systems are on life support.

    The Chinese government has muddied the waters skillfully, using the real threat of terrorism and religious extremism to justify the mass detention of hundreds of thousands of people with no connection to either. Terrorism analyst Colin Clarke recently wrote for Slate on how China has seemingly borrowed language from the U.S. “war on terror” to justify its authoritarianism. The Times’ reporting suggests this was quite deliberate: Xi urged authorities to emulate the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks and other officials argued that recent attacks in Britain resulted from that government prioritizing “human rights above security.”

    It may be that China is now simply too powerful and too enmeshed in the global economy to be strongly criticized. Organizations like the NBA have recently learned the consequences of even the mildest criticism of the country’s human rights policies. Many Islamic countries’ governments have been conspicuously quiet, likely hoping to maintain economic ties with and investment from Beijing.

    But this is more than just a China problem. We’re not exactly living in a golden era of accountability for ethnic cleansing. Authoritarian countries are growing more assertive, democratic ones are growing more ambivalent, and international legal systems are on life support. As a result, crimes on this scale are being carried out in the open for the world to see, with impunity. President Bashar al-Assad now appears virtually guaranteed to remain in power in Syria. India has faced little pressure over its crackdown in Kashmir. Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are being urged by local authorities to repatriate back to Myanmar, where they face grisly violence that spurred them to leave in the first place. There have been few takers.

    Earlier this month, William Roebuck, the top U.S. diplomat on the ground in northern Syria, wrote in a leaked internal memo that “Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, spearheaded by armed Islamist groups on its payroll, represents an intentioned-laced effort at ethnic cleansing.” He criticized the U.S. for failing to even try to stop the operation. In fact, the president not only greenlit the operation but then acceded to a peace deal that gave a seal of approval to Turkey’s actions. Trump even noted that Turkey needed to have its border region “cleaned out.”

    Despite criticism from Congress and some behind-the-scenes drama, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was feted at the White House last week.

    In another victory for impunity, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected president of Sri Lanka on Sunday in a close vote that split the country along ethnic lines. As defense minister for his brother, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya spearheaded a final assault to defeat the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009 that killed tens of thousands and included the bombing of civilian safe zones. Despite war crimes allegations against him, Rajapaksa racked up support in areas dominated by the country’s Sinhalese majority with his emphasis on national security after recent terrorist attacks. Not incidentally, the Rajapaksas boast strong ties to China.

    The Times report may prompt another round of concern about the events in Xinjiang, but not enough that China will feel any pressure to halt its “reeducation” campaign.

    If other governments in the future are tempted to use mass violence against civilians or ethnic cleansing as a means to combat terrorism or extremism, there’s no reason to believe they’ll face serious condemnation, much less serious consequences.

  3. #33
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    Interview: U.S. bill on Xinjiang disrespects facts, says Turkish expert
    Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-15 22:43:28|Editor: yan

    ANKARA, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Xinjiang-related bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives shows a disregard for facts, Cem Kizilcec, director of the International Department of Turkey's Socialism Studies Academic Association, has said.

    The passage of the Xinjiang-related bill shows that the United States is "ignoring the real facts" and Western media are distorting the facts with a smear campaign targeting China, Kizilcec told Xinhua recently.

    On Dec. 3, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the so-called "Uygur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019," maliciously attacking the human rights conditions in Xinjiang and slandering China's de-radicalization and anti-terrorism efforts.

    China has expressed strong indignation over and firm opposition to the passing of the bill.

    The measures taken by the Chinese government to fight terrorism in Xinjiang were all done "in a lawful manner," Kizilcec said, adding that Xinjiang has not had any violent incident over the years because of such measures.

    Kizilcec said that based on his own experience while visiting Xinjiang, those allegations against China were untrue.

    "I have been there many times. There are no religious restrictions," he said. "The Uygur people support China's policies in Xinjiang."

    The bill "will damage the existing relations between China and the U.S. very badly," he said.

    Kizilcec also denounced the United States' repeated interference in China's internal affairs, noting that "this is a real plot organized by some circles outside and inside the United States."

  4. #34
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    De Turken hebben hun eer, wat daar nog van over was althans, verkocht aan China.

  5. #35

  6. #36
    MVC Lid


    Poeslief die dictator!

  7. #37
    MVC Lid


    Israël: ‘We zijn klaar om te onderhandelen met Turkije’
    17 december 2019 2753
    Yuval Steinitz
    Israëlische radiozender: Turkije is klaar voor onderhandelingen over aardgas
    Eerder deze week maakte de Israëlische openbare radio bekend dat Turkije klaar zou zijn voor onderhandelingen over aardgas. Het doel van die onderhandelingen is dat Ankara Israëlisch aardgas naar Europa zou gaan vervoeren.

    My recent reporting on Israel, Turkey and the gas pipeline are reported in the Turkish media pic.twitter.com/EOgy9JS3AP

    — Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) December 17, 2019

    “Ankara heeft haar bereidheid getoond om met Jeruzalem te onderhandelen over het vervoer van aardgas naar het Europese continent via Turks territorium”, aldus de openbare radiozender Kan.
    “Een hooggeplaatste bron binnen het Turkse ministerie van Energie gaf daarover een verklaring uit. In die verklaring zegt hij dat Ankara wacht op de volgende stabiele regering in Israël, zodat deze kwestie met de volgende minister van Energie besproken kan worden.”
    Yuval Steinitz
    Volgens aftredend Energieminister Yuval Steinitz beschikt Israël over een reserve van ruim 800 miljard kubieke meter aardgas in de velden van Leviathan en Tamar voor de Israëlische kust.
    Verder zou er nog 2,2 biljoen kubieke meter gas op ontdekking wachten. https://www.dejongeturken.com/israel...n-met-turkije/

  8. #38


    Citaat Geplaatst door MikeH Bekijk reactie
    De Turken hebben hun eer, wat daar nog van over was althans, verkocht aan China.
    een gewaagde uitspraak

  9. #39
    MVC Lid


    Citaat Geplaatst door M139 Bekijk reactie
    een gewaagde uitspraak
    Mag ik nu Turkije niet meer in?
    Paar keer geweest trouwens, mooi land, wat ik er van gezien heb dan.

  10. #40
    MVC Lid


    Kritiek op China om Oeigoeren neemt toe, maar nog nauwelijks harde veroordeling

    In een tweet sprak Arsenal-speler Mesut Özil zich vrijdag uit tegen de behandeling van Oeigoeren die in China massaal in kampen opgesloten worden. Gevolg: de Engelse topper tussen Arsenal en Manchester City werd gisteren in China niet uitgezonden. Kritiek op het land valt nog altijd op zijn zachtst gezegd niet goed. Toch zwelt de roep om actie aan, al houden veel (niet-Westerse) landen zich grotendeels op de vlakte.

    In het bericht liet de Duits-Turkse voetballer zich specifiek uit tegen moslimlanden. Volgens Özil moet er heviger gereageerd worden op de onderdrukking van de islamitische Oeigoerse minderheid. "Hun moskeeën worden gesloten. Hun sloten worden verboden. De mannen worden in kampen gedwongen", schrijft hij.

    Volgens Turkije-correspondent Lucas Waagmeester komt de kritiek van Özil niet uit de lucht vallen. "Turkije herbergt bijvoorbeeld buiten China de meeste Oeigoeren. In verschillende wijken in Istanbul zijn groepen Oeigoeren te vinden, ze hebben er winkels en restaurants." De bevolkingsgroep is blij met de woorden van Özil. Bij een demonstratie in Istanbul droegen ze dit weekend foto's van hem bij zich:
    Betogers in Istanbul met de beeltenis van Özil, afgelopen zaterdag AFP

    De islamitische bevolkingsgroep wordt in Turkije als broedervolk gezien. Ze hebben dezelfde etnische stamboom en de Oeigoeren spreken een taal die verwant is aan het Turks.

    "Daarnaast zijn Oeigoeren moslims die onderdrukt worden in een niet-islamitisch land", zegt Waagmeester. "Dat brengt mensen hier wel in vervoering."
    Een overheidsfoto vanuit een van de kampen in Xinjiang, volgens Human Rights Watch XINJIANG BUREAU OF JUSTICE

    Ook vanuit de politiek werd er oorspronkelijk veel steun uitgesproken voor de Oeigoeren. "In 2009 noemde Erdogan de situatie in Xinjiang gelijk aan genocide. Maar de kritiek die hij toen had is langzaam verstomd. De regering is heel voorzichtig geworden in zijn commentaar."
    Chinese investeringen

    Die trend is breder te zien in de Golfregio. Deze zomer ondertekenden 22 westerse landen, waaronder Nederland, een brief waarin ze de onderdrukking van de Oeigoeren veroordeelden. Op hetzelfde moment was er een tweede kamp met 37 landen die vrijwel het tegenovergestelde beargumenteerden. Zij stelden dat China in Xinjiang succesvol handelt in de bestrijding van terrorisme en religieus extremisme.

    Landen als Algerije, Bahrein, Egypte, Saudi-Arabië en Qatar ondertekenden de brief. De drijfveer voor deze steun is volgens deskundigen voornamelijk economisch. "Nu Turkije het de laatste jaren economisch moeilijk heeft, zijn Chinese investeringen voor Turkije van levensbelang", zegt Waagmeester. "Ook Erdogan spreekt zich nu niet meer hard uit." https://nos.nl/artikel/2315066-kriti...oordeling.html

  11. #41
    MVC Lid


    Turkey, China react to US killing of Iran general

    #World#War & Conflicts#US#Middle East#China

    Friday, Jan. 3, 22:26

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry has expressed concern about rising tensions between the United States and Iran following the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani by a US airstrike.

    In a statement on Friday, the ministry warned that turning Iraq into an area of conflict will harm peace and stability in the region.

    Meanwhile, China called on the United States to exercise restraint.

    China's state-run Xinhua news agency says the country's senior diplomat Yang Jiechi told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by phone that Beijing always supports resolving differences through dialogue and opposes the use of force.

    The report also says Jiechi expressed hope that Washington will maintain restraint and return to the path of dialogue to help ease tensions.

  12. #42
    MVC Lid


    Turkey’s Uighurs fear repatriation to China - NY Times

    Dec 22 2019 08:16 Gmt+3
    Last Updated On: Dec 22 2019 10:07 Gmt+3

    The community of China’s Muslim Uighurs who have sought refuge in Turkey amid Beijing’s crackdown, are increasingly concerned about their future in the country, which has been a long-favoured haven, the New York Times said.

    “I am scared whenever the door opens,” the article quoted Ablet Abdugani, who has been living in Turkey for six years as saying.

    Abdugani is one of some 35,000 Uighurs who have called Turkey home after having escaped China’s crackdown.

    Since ethnic riots in Xinjiang in 2009, China has increased the police presence in the region and established what it calls re-education camps for some 1 million Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim people. In these prison-like camps, Uighhur inmates are subject to physical and mental torture, among other violations. The crackdown has pushed many to leave the country with at least 11,000 arriving in Turkey in the last three years.

    Turkey earlier this year deported at least four Uighurs to Tajikistan, from where, they were sent back to China, the NY Times said, sparking fear in the country’ s Uighur community.

    The deportations arrive amid Turkey’s need for a Chinese boost for its ailing economy, along with other geopolitical factors pushing Ankara to maintain good ties with Beijing.

    Support for Uighurs by the Turkish public, however, has been strong.

    Hundreds of people took part in a march in Istanbul on Friday to protest China’s human rights violations against the group with some choosing unconventional methods to protest Beijing.

    Çin seddi yıkma eylemi Sivas'ta da yapılmış. Anlaşılması için de üzerine yazmışlar 'Çin seddi' diye. pic.twitter.com/bazbycwR2q
    — Erkin Öncan (@erknoncn) December 22, 2019

    Many Uighurs in Turkey find themselves in a state of impermanence, the NY Times said, pointing to their denial work permits, business licenses, and in some cases permanent residence and citizenship.

    Turkey’s Uighur population fear that once their Chinese passports expire, they will be left effectively stateless, the article concluded. https://ahvalnews.com/turkey-uighurs...china-ny-times

  13. #43
    MVC Lid


    Tempted by Chinese investment, Erdoğan is silent on Uighurs
    Ian Lynch

    Ian J. Lynch
    Dec 18 2019 02:11 Gmt+3
    Last Updated On: Dec 19 2019 04:03 Gmt+3

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presents himself as a fierce defender of oppressed Muslims worldwide, but he has been muted when it comes to the Uighurs in western China.

    Even while global condemnation of China’s repressive policies in Xinjiang has increased, Erdoğan has remained largely silent on the issue. His lack of support for the Uighurs is evidently down to his desire to build stronger economic ties with China as a result of Turkey’s deteriorating relationships with the United States and Europe.

    “Turkey under Erdoğan has consistently stood with the Chinese oppressors,” Salih Hudayar, the founder and president of East Turkistan National Awakening Movement, told Ahval. He said this was making “Uighurs across the world lose hope, not only in Turkey, but also the Islamic world.” Other Muslim countries have also been hesitant to speak out.

    The Uighurs are a Muslim people, speaking a Turkic language related to that spoken in Turkey.

    “Although Erdoğan and his administration have been silent on East Turkistan,” the name Uighurs use for Xinjiang, Hudayar said, “Turkey’s people and other opposition parties like the Good party have been actively speaking out against China’s oppression of Uighurs.”

    Erdoğan’s near silence on the issue of the Uighurs comes despite his alliance with the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which espouses Pan-Turkism, the ideal of uniting the Turkic peoples of Anatolia and Central Asia.

    “The ultra-right, pan-Turkic MHP, which is more rigid in its nationalist sentiment than the breakaway Good Party, also has a history of objecting to the Erdoğan administration’s attempts to seek closer trade ties with China, despite ongoing repression in Xinjiang,” Lisel Hintz, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of Identity Politics Inside Out: National Identity Contestation and Foreign Policy in Turkey, told Ahval.

    “However, since forming a coalition government with Erdoğan’s AKP, their leadership has also become less strident critics of China,” she said. “MHP members, however, continue to engage in attacks against, sometimes incorrectly, perceived Chinese targets as well as demonstrations in support of freedom for East Turkestan.”

    “Turkey has toned down its criticism of China’s treatment of Uighurs intentionally because it wants to be on China’s good side,” said Soner Çağaptay, the director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute and author of Erdoğan’s Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East.

    “If Turkey’s economy were to tank there are only two financial institutions or countries large enough to bail Turkey out. The first one is the IMF, for which the Turkish government would need U.S. approval for a bailout plan to be initiated, and the second one is China,” Çağaptay told Ahval.

    Turkey cannot rely on China coming to its assistance, because, despite toning down its rhetoric, it remains the global centre of the Uighur diaspora, Çağaptay said.

    After the communist takeover of China in 1949, many of the Uighur elite fled to Turkey. During the Cold War, “Ankara comfortably embraced this policy because China was a distant country and presented no threats to Turkey in terms of retaliation,” Çağaptay said, “but things have changed. China is now an economic power and Turkey’s economy is not in very good shape.”

    China has long been concerned that Xinjiang, where more than half of the 25 million inhabitants are Muslim Uighurs, could be a hotbed for resistance to central state control.

    China’s crackdown on ethnic Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslims in Xinjiang has involved detaining more than 1 million people in internment camps to undergo what leaked Chinese government documents describe as treatment for exposure to the virus of radical Islam.

    As recently as February, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned Chinese efforts to eliminate the ethnic, religious, and cultural identities of Uighurs in Xinjiang, calling the internment camps “a great shame for humanity”.

    But Uighur activists were disappointed when Erdoğan failed to speak out against the Chinese policy during a visit to Beijing in July.

    Erdoğan’s silence on the issue is revealing of Turkey’s desire to diversify its sources of foreign investment and its vulnerability due to its struggling economy, said John Calabrese, a professor at American University and director of the Middle East-Asia Project at the Middle East Institute.

    “China, too, has been careful to avoid making the Uighurs such a big issue that it risks severely damaging the overall bilateral relationship,” Calabrese told Ahval. In Turkey, he said, China may see “a disaffected U.S. ally whose contentious relations with Washington could be exploited.”

    There are several economic reasons why Turkey is attractive to China. It is trying to diversify its overland rail routes to European markets, which could include making Turkey an important transit country for its goods. Turkey could also provide China with a useful consumer market in its own right and offer business opportunities for Chinese construction firms.

    The two countries have worked together to align Erdoğan’s Middle Corridor infrastructure strategy with China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative. The first freight train to make the Middle Corridor journey, transiting the Marmaray tunnel in Istanbul, departed the Chinese city of Xi’an for Prague in October.

    Turkey’s economic challenges and disputes with the United States and Europe may be behind Erdoğan’s attempts to court Chinese investment, but the poor state of Turkey’s economy also poses challenges to the trade relationship with China.

    “Last year, China's exports to Turkey were roughly seven times larger than Turkey's exports to China,” Calabrese said. “Turkey's economic woes are the main reason for the recent contraction in bilateral trade, including the sharp drop in Chinese exports.”

    “Turkish officials have become more vocal about their dissatisfaction with the imbalance,” he said, but “it seems near impossible for Turkey to significantly narrow its trade deficit with China, at least in the short term.”

    Erdoğan did secure, as a part of a framework agreement signed seven years ago, a $1 billion currency swap with China in the lead up to his July visit to Beijing.

    Although it is not clear whether Turkey’s toned-down criticism of China’s repression of the Uighurs will help it secure beneficial Chinese investments, Erdoğan does appear to have the domestic political leeway to test out his policy of silence.

    “The idea of advocating for ‘brother Turks’ and for Muslims generally enjoys broad sympathy in Turkey, but it is unlikely to fundamentally alter voter patterns. Popular support for Muslims abroad is broad, but it is also shallow,” said Howard Eissenstat, an associate professor at St. Lawrence University and non-resident senior fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy.

    “Erdoğan would, no doubt, win plaudits if he spoke out aggressively in support of the Uighurs,” he told Ahval, “but the costs of antagonising China are far greater than the potential political benefits.”

  14. #44
    MVC Lid


    Turkey looks to Asia to diversify financial investment sources
    Published 14.01.2020 17:08
    Updated 14.01.2020 17:12

    According to data from the Industry and Technology Ministry, Turkey attracted $28.4 billion in foreign direct investment from Asian countries from 2002 to October 2019.
    According to data from the Industry and Technology Ministry, Turkey attracted $28.4 billion in foreign direct investment from Asian countries from 2002 to October 2019.
    In line with the Asia Anew initiative, Turkey aims to diversify its portfolio of investors, which has been by large dominated by European countries, and boost investments coming from Asian countries

    Turkey will prioritize diversifying its financial sources and explore its potential of attracting more financial investments from Asian markets in 2020, the Presidential Finance Office said Tuesday.

    Finance Office Chief Göksel Aşan told Anadolu Agency (AA) the office will work toward diversifying Turkey's geographical distribution of financial investments and widen its focus to countries such as China and Indonesia as part of the country's new "the Asia Anew Initiative." "Countries such as China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Qatar have large and significant potentials in this regard," Aşan stated.

    The office is now targeting to shift some portion of Turkey's investment sources from the West to Asia and is in discussion with several Asian countries about alternative local currency borrowing agreements.

    Chinese lenders have already started operations in the Turkish financial sector. Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) became the first Chinese lender to enter the Turkish market in 2015 and has since provided financing for a number of Turkish infrastructure and energy projects. In 2017, the Bank of China also started operations in Turkey and signed loan agreements with various Turkish firms.

    Aşan also said that China's "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI) could bring new opportunities to Turkish financial markets, adding that Turkish officials are meeting with Chinese counterparts to discover Turkey's potential role in the BRI financing. "I believe that we will be talking to Asian countries more than ever before. Turkey's axis is not shifting, but rather the world economy is shifting toward Asia from the West," Aşan said.

    Turkey has been attracting more investments from Asian countries, especially from the GCC region, as Asian investors are closing the gap to a large extent with Europe, which has been the leader in direct investments in Turkey for years.

    According to the Industry and Technology ministry figures, 35% of foreign direct investment (FDI) came from Asia with a total of $1.71 billion of investments made in the first 10 months of 2019, as opposed to $1 billion in the same period of 2018. Asian investments made up 28% of total FDI in 2018, totaling $1.9 billion. The figures also revealed that Turkey attracted $28.4 billion in FDI from Asian countries in the period of 2002 to October 2019.

    Meanwhile, European investors made 55% of the direct investment in Turkey from January to October last year with $2.66 billion. American investors made up 8.6% while only 0.6% of FDI came from African countries. As of the end of October, Turkey attracted the highest direct investments from the U.K., Qatar, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands and Germany. The FDI from the U.K. amounted to $783 billion followed by $569 billion from Qatar and $565 billion from Azerbaijan.


    The presidential finance chief said another goal of his office for 2020 was to work toward finishing the Istanbul Finance Center (IFC) project, which is due to finish in 2022. "Istanbul is already a financial center but not at its full potential. Once the project is finished, Istanbul will be ranked among the top 10 global financial markets," Aşan said, adding that the project is poised to open in the first quarter of 2022.

    The finance chief added that Turkey will first explore niche markets such as Islamic finance to focus on areas where it has comparative advantage rather than trying to fully resemble London or Singapore's methods of financing. "We will be focusing on new financial methods and products, and invest in fin-tech to make ourselves distinctive, but will not neglect conventional financing. Otherwise, it is impossible for us to compete with London or Singapore," he said.

    The IFC project, which started in 2009 and is currently being developed in Istanbul's Ataşehir district, has been designed to be one of the world's major financial centers. This landmark government project aims to build a larger financial center than the existing ones in New York, London and Dubai and also aims to make Istanbul the center of finance internationally. With the completion of the project, some 30,000 people are projected to be employed. Constructed on an area of 2.5 million square meters, the IFC will have 560,000 square meters of office space, 90,000 square meters of shopping space, 70,000 square meters of a hotel, 60,000 square meters of residential space and a culture and congress center with a capacity of 2,000. https://www.dailysabah.com/finance/2...stment-sources

  15. #45
    MVC Lid


    Turkish public believes Turkey has no friends - but Turks

    New study indicates that historical grievances and nationalist policies are making Turkey's population feel ever more isolated
    A man sits on the bank of the Bosphorus Strait (AFP)
    By Ragip Soylu
    in Ankara
    Published date: 17 January 2020 16:18 UTC | Last update: 2 hours 55 min ago

    For decades, the Turkish state had a strictly nationalist curriculum in its schools, drilling the idea into pupils' minds that Turks have - almost always - been alone when facing an existential crisis in the international arena.

    Teachers taught their students a saying that was believed to summarise the idea: “Turks don’t have friends besides other Turks.”

    Though the teaching of such a message has been far less robust in recent years, analysts have still observed a similar trend in education.

    Turkish public opposes troop deployments to Libya, poll indicates
    Read More »

    Now, it appears, the message that Turkey can only rely on its Turkic neighbours and partners has lost its power - with the majority of Turkish citizens now thinking they stand almost completely alone.

    According to an annual poll conducted among 1,000 people in December by Istanbul-based Kadir Has University, just one country fits the majority of the public’s definition of a friend or ally: Azerbaijan, a Turkic country that 56.5 of respondents saw favourably.

    Second place was taken by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, an independent state only recognised by Ankara, with 43.1 percent support. Northern Cyprus saw a 16-percent drop in its approval ratings from last year, largely due to recent policy clashes with Ankara.

    The poll also suggests the majority of Turkish citizens believe the remaining countries - including Georgia, Qatar, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, the United States, India and China - are not Turkey’s friends.
    Lessons from history

    Analysts believe the results aren’t surprising at all, considering the government's nationalist policies over recent decades and Turkey’s increasing military engagement in the region that put Ankara at odds with many neighbours.

    Ferhat Kentel, a sociology professor at Istanbul Sehir University, told Middle East Eye that two events largely lie behind this trend: the fall of the Ottoman empire and the Sevres Treaty that followed it, which if enforced would have seen Turkey cede large chunks of Anatolia.

    Former colonial powers are always high in the threat list: 64.5 percent of Turkish citizens perceive the US as a threat, 49 percent for the UK and France, while 55.6 percent feel the same about Israel.

    Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara’s maritime delimitation deal with the Libyan government had reversed the Sevres Treaty by upending the regional order, a confirmation that memories from the late Ottoman era are still relevant in daily politics.

    “The state taught citizens that we have been all alone since the independence war,” Kentel said, referring to the conflict that founded modern Turkey after the First World War.

    'Yes, the majority doesn’t like anyone. But no one should ignore the millions of people with different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds that do perceive other countries as allies'

    - Murat Guvenc, study author

    “However, now you have the ruling AKP in the last few years also working with nationalist leaders, like Devlet Bahceli and Dogu Perincek, who also assert that Turkey is alone.

    "The public is also looking for international organisations or other countries to lean on. And they cannot find anyone else either.”

    Others say the Turkish government’s involvement in Libya and Syria's civil wars, and Turkish military presence in Somalia, Qatar, Afghanistan and Bosnia, might have an impact on society as a whole.

    Murat Guvenc, a professor at Kadir Has University, one of the study's authors, said that Turkey’s recent Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria against Kurdish forces was a good example of how foreign adventures can affect public consciousness.

    “You saw both Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump trying to stop the operation. Trump was threatening Ankara with economic sanctions,” he told MEE. "It makes people feel that everyone is against them. I see a similar trend among the most educated, western and secular groups.”

    However, Guvenc also pointed out that the results must be examined carefully.

    “Yes, the majority doesn’t like anyone. But no one should ignore the millions of people with different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds that do perceive other countries as allies," he said.

    "And there is no monolithic group as Turks.”

    On the other hand, Turkish feelings about other countries might be mutual.

    For example, 44.4 percent of Turkish citizens believe Germany is a threat to them. And a poll done last year by YouGov indicates that the majority of Germans, 58 percent, believe Turkey should be expelled from Nato over Operation Peace Spring. Only 18 percent were against the idea.

    “No one sees Turks as allies. And Turks know that,” Kentel said.

    “This is also an international trend: everyone is inclined to go it alone. You have right-wing strongmen as heads of states around the world, which pumps up nationalism."