Turkey in no position to judge Xinjiang
Published: Feb 11, 2019 09:08 PM
A Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson released a statement on Saturday accusing China of reintroducing "internment camps" into the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The statement took the Western media's exaggerated reports for granted, declaring that Uyghur people "incurring arbitrary arrests are subjected to torture." Turkey is capricious and shallow on the Xinjiang question and many Chinese people again feel disappointed at Turkey.

Xinjiang's situation is extremely complicated. The region used to be haunted by violence and terrorism which was almost out of control. Thus Xinjiang was forced to adopt severer governance practices. Officials and the ordinary people of all of Xinjiang's ethnic groups have made great efforts and brought about a fundamental turn for the better. Xinjiang has avoided the fate of becoming a second Chechnya.

Xinjiang's education and training centers, as effective temporary measures, can help eliminate extremism. The centers are the least costly way to make the region stable and avoid war and upheaval. People can have various opinions on Xinjiang's governance, but maliciously attacking China's efforts is not honorable.

As Western people are attacking Xinjiang's governance, do they really care about human rights? At least people like US Senator Marco Rubio don't. For such politicians, it's their routine to attack China. They eagerly want to disturb Xinjiang's condition. Other Westerners don't understand Xinjiang. Their opinions are shallow and misled by the Western media.

Developing countries understand that the affairs of each country and region are complicated in their own ways. Thus they refuse to follow the West on the Xinjiang question. Turkey has a Pan-Turkism complex and always makes irresponsible remarks on Xinjiang. But since Turkey's failed coup in 2016, the country's relations with the West have become estranged. Turkey's attitude on the Xinjiang question has been more restrained.

The statement by the Turkish foreign ministry can be seen as Turkey's sway in Xinjiang-related matters. It may also be viewed as a move by the Turkish government to win right-wing voters in the local elections scheduled in March. It is too early to say that there is a major shift in Turkey's China policy. Ankara needs Beijing's support strategically, and this trend has not changed.

Turkey has no grounds to point an accusing finger at China's domestic affairs. Ankara is no saint toward the Kurds or in the purge following the 2016 coup attempt if judged by Western standards of human rights. It should not follow the Western tune to intervene in China's Xinjiang affairs.

It is worth pointing out that it was the Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson that made the statement. The one who accused China after the July 5 incident in Xinjiang was once a Turkish leader. If Turkey makes no more interference after this statement, China does not need to pay too much attention to it.

After all, a statement by the Turkish foreign ministry will not have any real impact on China's Xinjiang governance. The sway of Turkey will only make the Chinese public feel that the country's diplomacy is immature. If Turkey wants to develop long-term cooperation with China, it needs the support of the Chinese public.

To stabilize Xinjiang is the core matter of Xinjiang governance, no matter what the outside world says. A prosperous and dynamic Xinjiang is the best answer to external accusations.