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Uyghurs in Turkey welcome US boycott of Olympics

PHOTO FILES:
FILE PHOTO: Ethnic Uighur protesters take part in a “No Beijing 2022” rally calling for a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, in front of the Olympic House, headquarters of the National Olympic Committee Turkey (TMOK), in Istanbul, Turkey June 23, 2021. REUTERS / Dilara Senkaya / File photo

December 7, 2021

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – China’s Uighur Muslim ethnic group, which has a wide presence in Turkey, welcomed the United States’ boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing and called on other countries other do the same.

The White House on Monday said US government officials would boycott the Winter Olympics because of China’s “atrocities” on human rights, even though US athletes are free to go there to compete. fight.

Many Uighurs reside in Turkey, with whom Turks share ethnic, religious, and linguistic affiliations. About 50,000 Uyghurs are thought to live in Turkey, the largest Uyghur community outside of Central Asia.

A 40-year-old Uyghur woman in Istanbul said she welcomed the US action. “These days, China is waging a genocide against the Uighur Turks, killing millions in the country,” said Amine Wayit, a speaker in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district, where she sells Uyghur goods. there.

“In such a situation, it’s ridiculous to hold the Olympics there in China, and from my point of view, it’s like venting contempt on all of humanity in the world,” she said. “It would be right for the whole world to organize a boycott, not just America.”

Chinese authorities reacted with anger to Washington’s move. The United States has betrayed the principles of the Olympics and will “pay the price” for boycotting the Winter Olympics in Beijing, China said on Tuesday, as key Western allies both hesitant in deciding whether to follow the lead of the United States.

The administration of US President Joe Biden has highlighted the reasons for the boycott of what Washington calls genocide against minority Muslims in China’s far western Xinjiang region.

China denies any human rights abuses.

“I think this is the beginning of the response. Maybe other countries will then join in the boycott decision that the US has made,” said Abdusselam Teklimakan, a Uyghur, president of the East Turkestan New Generation Movement.

“This will increase the number of countries siding with East Turkestanis and weaken the hand of China.”

(Written by Ece Toksabay; Edited by Matthew Lewis)

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DUSTIN JONES

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