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China upset with Turkey on not extraditing Xinjiang accused

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Turkey has refusal to extradite Abudukadir Yapuquan, a prominent Uygur activist who is
suspected of tradite terrorism in Xinjiang. On which Bejing has expressed its strong
objection.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China called on
Turkey to face Abudukadir’s “essence as a terrorist” and reverse its “erroneous decision” to
avoid having a serious negative influence on China-Turkey relations.
“ETIM [East Turkestan Islamic Movement] is a terrorist organisation listed by the UN
Security Council and is recognised as such by Turkey,” said Zhao, adding that Abudukadir was one of the initiators of ETIM and was accused of plotting terrorist activities on Chinese
territory many times. Zhao said the evidence was conclusive.
China was strongly dissatisfied with, and firmly opposed, a Turkish court decision not to
extradite Abudukadir, Zhao said.
According to Radio Free Asia, a court in Turkey rejected a request by Beijing to extradite
Abudukadir to China to face “terrorism” charges, citing a lack of credible evidence, his
lawyer said, adding that Abudukadir had been banned from travelling abroad in a previous
trial, and that he was free now the decision had been reversed.
Abudukadir was accused by Chinese authorities of helping establish ETIM and being
engaged in planning and carrying out terrorist acts.
He has been imprisoned in China twice. He escaped from China in 1998 and ended up in
Turkey, home to an estimated 50,000 Uygurs. He was arrested by Turkish police in 2016 on
charges of being a “terrorist” and had since been under detention or house arrest, according to
media reports.
Cheng Yijun, a researcher with the Institute of Russia at the Chinese Academy of Social
Sciences, said Turkey’s decision to not only turn down the extradition request but to set
Abudukadir free would have a negative effect at the diplomatic level.
Beijing approved an extradition treaty between the two nations in December which is
awaiting ratification by Ankara’s parliament. Uygurs living in Turkey are concerned they
could be sent back to China under the extradition deal. Cheng said Turkey had remained
“flexible” on the Xinjiang issue, and tried to maintain consistency with the United States and
other Western countries.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he had conveyed Ankara’s “sensitivity and
thoughts on Uygur Turks” to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi when he visited Turkey in late
March, amid protests organised by Uygur activists outside China’s embassy.
This month, Turkey summoned China’s ambassador
after his office took to social media to denounce two top Turkish politicians over their
criticism of Beijing’s crackdown on Uygurs in Xinjiang.
“Turkey is trying to maintain ideological consistency on the Xinjiang issue between the
United States and Europe,” said Yin Gang, a research fellow with the Institute of West Asian
and African Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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