Reported water cut to Chinese embassy 'rumor' to sow discord between Beijing, Ankara
Published: Apr 11, 2021 09:03 PM
Screenshot of Twitter

Screenshot of Twitter

It is not true that Turkey cut water supply to the Chinese Embassy in Ankara amid bickering over Xinjiang-related issues, the Global Times learned, in contrast to what British media The Daily Express has claimed. 

A staff member at the Chinese Embassy told the Global Times on Sunday on condition of anonymity that water supply to the embassy was never suspended. British news outlet The Daily Express claimed on Saturday that Turkey cut the water supply due to Beijing's response to a minor bilateral spat last week.

The Daily Express report cited a picture of construction work being done in front of the Chinese Embassy. But the embassy staff member told the Global Times that there was repair work done on Wednesday after a water leak, but it finished that day and did not affect the water supply. 

The news outlet did not specify its source but the Global Times found the earliest information came from the Twitter account of Ibrahim Haskologlu, a self-claimed journalist. Local news outlet Duvar English reported the work as excavation to detect a water leak and connected it to the China-Turkey spats. 

The Express reported on Saturday, three days after the repair work, that Turkey had cut off the water supply to the Chinese embassy in Ankara "in bizarre retaliation" for spats between the two nations. 

The spats referred to two Turkish politicians who had called China's dealing of the 1990 Baren riot "persecution," to which the Chinese embassy in Turkey tweeted condemnation and said China has the right to respond as the riot brutally killed police and kidnapped others.

"China resolutely opposes and strongly condemns any challenge by any person or power to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the embassy posted on Tuesday. Turkey on Tuesday summoned Chinese ambassador Liu Shaobin over the matter.  

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at Wednesday's press conference that the embassy's response was "totally justified and beyond reproach." Turkey also suffers from pain caused by terrorism and separatism. Hopefully, people in Turkey can view China's firm stance in defending its national sovereignty and territorial integrity -- as well as its counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts -- in a correct, rational and objective way, according to Zhao.

Some figures from the terrorist group Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are being shielded in Turkey, and they are spreading Xinjiang-related rumors year after year. Some Turkish figures have used such rumors for their own political purposes, Gong Xiaosheng, former Chinese ambassador to Turkey, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Chinese observers also pointed out that some Western media organizations hyping the issue aims to cast shadows on the big picture of China-Turkey relations and sow discord between the two countries.