Uyghurs are not descendants of Turks: Urumqi mayor

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/26 21:58:39

The Uyghur people are members of the Chinese family, not descendants of the Turks, the mayor of Urumqi, capital city of Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region,  said in an article that declared war on the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

"Happy life comes with difficulties, but the three evil forces, using the name of ethnics and religion, have been creating hatred between ethnic groups and the mania to conduct terrorist activities, which greatly damage the shared interests of Xinjiang people," Yasheng Sidike, mayor and deputy Party chief of Urumqi, wrote in an article published on Urumqi Evening Post on August 20.

"The Uyghur people are members of the Chinese family, not descendants of the Turks, let alone anything to do with Turkish people," he noted.

Xinjiang is a region where ethnic groups have mixed since ancient times, and all groups have made contributions to its development and safeguarding the region. They are all owners of Xinjiang, he said.

"The fallacies that claim 'East Turkistan is our country' and 'Uyghur as the native of Xinjiang' are ridiculous, ignorant and condemnable," read the article.

Turgunjan Tursun, a professor with the Zhejiang Normal University, told the Global Times on Sunday that the Pan-Islamism and Pan-Turkism thoughts have affected the region in modern times. "But since 1949, the social structure in Xinjiang has changed, and the basis for ethnic unity has been formed."

In the past decades, violence has occurred in Xinjiang, but it has been reduced to a minimum and cannot shake the mainstream of Xinjiang, Turgunjan noted.

"One's ethnic identity and national identity are not in conflict. China is a country with multiple ethnic groups," he said. China's population is made up of 56 constitutionally recognized ethnic groups.

"Uyghurs are not Turks," Maimaitizunong Abdukirim, a professor at the Kashgar University in Xinjiang, was quoted by Huaxia Dili, the Chinese edition of National Geographic as saying in 2014. He said that linguistically, the Uyghur language belongs to the Turk language group, but "it is not related to the blood."

Xinjiang is home to 13 predominant ethnic groups, including Uyghur, Han, Kazakh, Khalkhas and Tajik that have been living in the region for generations. By the end of 2016, ethnic minorities account for 60 percent of Xinjiang's population, according to the website of Xinjiang government.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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