Chinese Atrocity to the Uyghur Turks in the East Turkistan

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A few days ago Chinese Colsulate-General in Istanbul organized an event. During the event the Chinese officials showed a short videos and said that the Uyghurs are not Turks! These kind of propaganda are not new for the China. Chinese governments use that kind of black propagandas decades-old. That’s why I want to write an article about Uyghur Turks and its unique culture, and Chinese atrocities on Uyghur Turks.

Origins of the Uyghurs:

Since the late 19th century a number of archeological, cultural and political studies have been carried out by western scholars. When the area became interesting in geopolitical terms to the British, Russian, and Chinese imperial governments. The middle age periods of the Uygur Turks describes by James Millward, a professor of History at Georgetown University (USA) who is specialised in history of China and Central Eurasia, writes in his book “Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang” that the Uyghurs originated in the Turks and the Mongolian core lands of the Orkhon River valley. He also notes the tribes known by the name “Uyghur” were former components of the another Turk khaghanate Gokturks. In Chinese history mentioned the Uyghurs as a distinct tribal groups located in Northern and Eastern Wei Shu (Wei State) fisrt time in 6th century.We just also mentioned that the medieval Uyghur Turks became a political entity in the mid-8th century when they established their steppe empire as the inheritors of the ancient Turk steppe tribal confederation. They ruled their empire for a century from their capital city in the heart of the Mongol steppe. Their empire ended when rival another Turkic Kirgiz tribes attacked it, and the Uyghur aristocracy fled south into the borderland areas between China and the steppe. Two groups of diaspora Uyghurs built new states in Gansu and the Tarim Basin. The Gansu Uyghurs stayed in that region but never exerted any real power as a state.

The Uyghurs who migrated to the Tarim Basin were more successful, building an independent kingdom that maintained a stable rule over the mixed population of city dwellers and nomads who lived in the far-flung oases of the area. The Tarim Basin Uyghurs readily adapted to the sedentary lifestyle and built one of the most highly diverse societies of the age, where Buddhists, Nestorian Christians, Manichaeans, Zoroastrians, and nomads all lived side by side. Even after they became subjects of the Qarakhitai and then the Mongols, the Uyghurs retained some autonomy as political rulers in the Tarim Basin. That ended when Khubilai lost control of the Tarim Basin and most of the Uyghur aristocracy moved to China. The Uyghur diaspora refashioned their identity a third time in China as members of the conquest government and the cultural literati. Their existence as a distinct political entity ended with the eviction from China of the Mongols Consequently Uyghurs have existed since before the eighth century. Some Western scholars declarated that Uygurs identity was lost from the fifteenth to the twentieth century.

Most of the Turkish historiens do not agree that absence of the Uyghurs and they are right. They didn’t just get lost but they lost their state and falled under the hegemony of Doglats in 1514 till 1759 Manhcu (China) invasion. These period of the Uyghurs’ administraion also colled “Hocalar”. States can be lost by wars but nations can not be abolished so easily. On the other hand Uyghur Turks choosed some religions like Buddhism, Manichaesim, etc… but the most efficent and still permanent one is Islam. the Uyghurs are Sunni Muslims, practising Islamic traditions similar to their co-religionists in the region. In addition, many of them are Sufi, adhering to branches of Central Asian Sufism. However, it is also important to note that Islam was only one of several unifying markers for Uyghur identity, depending on those with whom they were in co-operation at the time.

China’s Economic Growth and Atrocity:

China surpassed the United States in the mid-1970s to become the nation with the largest number of urban dwellers in the world. Although still a predominantly rural country, with an urbanisation rate just under 20%, in absolute numbers China had become over 30 years ago the world’s largest urban nation in human history. Anomalously, this ascendance occurred at the end of a period in which China’s public policy was profoundly anti-urban. Much has changed since then. China’s “opening up”, and the introduction of market oriented reforms in the early 1980s, accelerated urbanisation across China such that, today, 600 million urban Chinese constitute 44% of the country’s population. Indications are that urbanisation will continue, at even more rapid rates in parts of the country, well into this century.

Aside from the national socio-economic changes fuelled by urbanisation over the last 30 years, the growth of China’s cities is starting to have major global impacts. The most obvious are environmental pollution of coastal waters by industries and untreated urban wastewater, crossborder and intercontinental air pollution from power plants, industries, and motor vehicles, and emissions that have made the country the second largest contributor to global warming. But less obvious global linkages are equally important. China’s transformation into the world’s biggest consumer of steel, cement and a wide range of resource commodities, including carbon-based energy sources, that is beginning to affect availability and supply prices in other countries, the transformation of China’s cities into the world’s factory, and the rapid evolution of the urban populace into a consumer base that is changing what global firms produce, and how they market them. Economic changes in China’s cities are fundamentally changing the global structure of flows of natural resources, products, capital, technology, information, and people Besides that a fundamental, gradually intensifying, and historical shift in China over the last two decades has been in relative terms a momentous increase in factor mobility fuelled by market oriented industrialisation, market driven trade, the introduction of new and more accessible transport technologies along roads, rail, inland waterways, and, more recently, policy loosening under China’s market and hukou reforms. Eastern Turkistan (Xinjiang) region is one of the most important place for its natural resources.

The purpose of the assimilation and the concenttarion camps is much economical than historical and political. Demographic strenght and labour resources have been changing in countenance of the China for many years dispite the largest metropolitan regions in East China. The OECD reports shows that new natural recources dicovered in West China now, and historical silk road destination has been there for thousands of years. As we know United States of America is in East of China, and little bit North East Japan is there. For reaching the Europe’ market and other nearest natural resources is only the East. Under these circumstances, the Uyghur Turks underarm the China.

Consequently the Turks and the Chinese have been rivals for thousands of years, but at the end of the migration of tribes many Turkic groups moved to West and spreaded far and wide. The rest of them whom stayed in the Middle Asia that they formed a medival state or established a state which lived a certain period. The Uyghur State was one of them which still is neighbor of the China.

Great leaders and politicians will pass from the earth, and the strongest imperial states will collapse and disappear from a new generation’s memory, but civilization, wisdom, and cultural heritage will continue to play a significant role among human beings as long as there is human history.

The land of the Uyghur Turks today consists of the Junghar, Tarim, and Turpan basins, situated in the center of Asia. This region has had great importance since early times because of its favored geographic location on the ancient trade routes between the East and the West, connecting the Greco-Roman civilization with Indian Buddhist culture and Central and East Asian traditions. Burgeoning trade, commerce, and cultural exchange gave the Uyghurs’ land a cosmopolitan character, marked by linguistic, racial, and religious tolerance. The Uyghurs’ culture and art developed not only on the basis of the inheritance and preservation of their traditional culture, but also through cultural exchanges with others in the East and the West.

In Chinese sources, at various periods, this land has been called the “Western Region” or the “Western Countries.” In non-Chinese sources, it was known as “Uyghuristan,” “East Turkistan,” “Chinese Turkistan,” or “Chinese Central Asia.” The term “Uyghur Äli,” found in a medieval Uyghur manuscript, means “The Country of the Uyghurs.” In 1884, the Qing Dynasty of China began to call the region “Xinjiang,” which means “new territory.” After 1955, the name “Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region” was given to it by the government of the Peoples’ Republic of China. According to the July 1, 1990, official Chinese census, the Uyghur (Turkic) speaking population was at that time 7.2495 million and comprised more than 60% of the region’s population. The Han Chinese population was 5.7466 million, comprising about 30% of the 15 million total population of the Uyghur homeland. A decade later, the Chinese official census of 2000 indicated that the population of Uyghur-speakers was near 9 million, but independent sources claim that the Uyghur population is currently about 16 million. In the past ten years, the Han Chinese population in the region increased almost 32 percent. By contrast, in 1949, Uyghurs accounted for more than 90 percent of the region’s population, while the Han Chinese accounted for only 5 percent of the roughly 5 million people in the Uyghur homeland at that time. Thus the Chinese population had increased 500 percent in the last half of the twentieth century Another issue that needs to be emphasized that in the first half of the 20th century, as a result of the Uyghur education movement that spread across Eastern Turkistan, a new understanding and national consciousness started to develop among Uyghurs. Uyghur intellectuals trained abroad, along with the intellectuals from different countries, played a prominent role in the development of nationalism in this period. These Uyghur intellectuals included both those in Eastern Turkistan and Uyghur intellectuals in diaspora. The emergence and development of the Uyghur intellectual class in this period took place in accordance with the dispersion of Uyghurs across three different geographical regions: Eastern Turkistan; Central Asia and Russia; and Turkey and the Middle East. The rise of the Uyghur education movement played a significant role in the emergence of the Uyghur intellectual class. The Uyghur education movement, which started in the 1920s and 1930s, was shaped and mobilized by three groups within Uyghur society All these factors were enough to disquited China. When Communist Mao seized power the darkest period of the Uyghur Turks has begun. China seems to forget what happened to them by British and Japan Empires during the 19th and 20th centuries. Unfortunately China governmets act like they vengeance. These political attitudes do not suit the great states like China. The Turkic States and regular member of the United Nations should stop these events urgently.


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