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1. Following are excerpts from the 9 July 2015 article headlined "Uighurs protesters assault Thai Consulate in Istanbul" at the timesuniondotcom website.|
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Protesters stormed the Thai Consulate in Istanbul early Thursday to denounce Thailand's decision to deport 109 ethnic Uighur migrants back to China, destroying furniture and hurling files and documents out into the yard, according to reports and video footage. Nine people were detained.
The group of some 100 gathered outside the consulate building waving Uighur flags and brought down the Thai flag. They then hurled rocks at the consulate, smashing windows and breaking in to the offices, where they demolished pictures and furniture and threw files out. No one was hurt in the attack.
Police allowed the protesters to pray outside the consulate before taking nine of them away for questioning.....
Thai authorities said the 109 were returned to China under an agreement that guarantees their safety.
Last week, Turkey took in a group of 173 Uighur migrants from Thailand, prompting Beijing to express displeasure with Ankara. China said Turkey's action was tantamount to supporting illegal migration. Thailand said the group had been identified as Turkish.
....Protests broke out across Turkey, and on one occasion a group of nationalists in Istanbul tried to attack a group of Korean tourists, mistaking them for Chinese nationals...... (End excerpts)
2. Following are excerpts from the 9 July 2015 article headlined "China-Turkey relationship strained over Uighurs" at the bbcdotcom website.
Burnt Chinese flags, attacks on Chinese restaurants, alleged attacks on tourists who were mistaken for being Chinese and protests across the country.
For the last 10 days anti-Chinese sentiment has been on the rise in Turkey.
Turkish Muslims and Uighurs from the far western region of China share ethnicity and have close cultural and religious ties....
Cihan Yavuz's Chinese restaurant, Happy China, was attacked by an angry mob in Istanbul last week.
"People are scared to come here, scared of another attack," he said.
"If people want to protest the Chinese government, they can hold demonstrations in front of its embassy. It's not right to use violence for the sake of protesting," he said.
There were further reports of disturbances in Istanbul on Saturday as the Grey Wolves - the youth wing of the far right nationalist party MHP - held a march.
Chinese tourist guide Miray Hamit said four or five men with knives attacked a tourist in her group.
"They asked us where we were from and when we said we were Chinese they started hitting one of us.
"A Turkish tourist guide and I intervened to stop the attack. We all got scared. One of us got injured, though nothing serious thankfully. I got hit too," she said.
Miray Hamit thought the attackers were not necessarily affiliated with the Grey Wolves rally and could have just been passing.
Turkish media though reported a group of Korean tourists believed to be Chinese were attacked during the Grey Wolves' protests, an allegation they deny.
The head of Grey Wolves in Istanbul, Ahmet Yigit Yildirim, alleged the scuffles that took place were actually between the police and protesters and no harm was done to any tourists. He said no complaint was made against them.
"The safety of every tourist coming to our country is our responsibility. We can't tolerate any sort of violence," he said.
Police sources were unable to speak to the BBC. However, the Korean consulate in Istanbul said they had not received any complaints or reports of any attacks against Korean citizens in the city.
In the Turkish media the leader of MHP, Devlet Bahceli, hinted at the possibility that a Korean may have been confused with a Chinese.
But Chinese tourists do not seem deterred by the rising anti-China sentiment in Turkey.
"We are aware of what's going on. But we didn't encounter any problems. We trust Turkey. Turkish people have been very friendly to us," tourist Lucky Zhang said.
This week, the Chinese government issued travel advice to its citizens travelling to Turkey and warned them against getting too close to protests or filming them. (End excerpts)
3. The MHP anti-Chinese protests raised several interesting points and questions:
(a) The big question here is how more than 300,000 people could pass through Chinese border checkpoints illegally into Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia without being noticed by the Chinese border guards throughout these years?
(In 2009, then Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said there were more than 300,000 Uighurs living in Turkey.)
(b) Why nobody had noticed anything when a large group of over 300,000 people could travel more than 3,000 km all the way from north-western China to the south throughout these years?
(c) Why didn't those people take the shorter routes into Pakistan and other Central Asian countries but instead took a long route via southern China particularly Kunming and then crossed into Vietnam and Thailand?
(d) It is obvious that the violent protest at the Thai Consulate was intended to intimidate Thailand and other countries into yielding to the Turkish protesters.
(e) In view of the Turkish intimidation against Thailand, China cannot depend forever on the goodwill of Thailand and other countries to return the illegal emigrants. What it should do is to monitor the illegal emigration more closely -- on the highways, trains, at airports, etc and tighten security at the border checkpoints.
(f) If Bulent Arinc's claim ithat more than 300,000 Uighurs had settled in Turkey is true, it is obvious that the illegal emigration of a big number of people could not occur without external help and coordination.
(g) While more than 300,000 Uighurs were claimed to have emigrated to Turkey, it looks very strange that some Turkish citizens have chosen to stay in China for years. Why do they want to stay in China, and what are they doing in China? China should take the following actions if Turkey is found to be the mastermind behind the illegal emigration.
(i) Break all diplomatic ties with Turkey, so that no Turkish citizens could infiltrate into China for sabotage or other anti-China activities.
(ii) It was reported that "Turkey has vowed to keep its doors open to Uighur migrants". If Turkey really means what it says, China should let Turkey take away all the Uighurs from Xinjiang. Turkey may want more Uighurs to balance the increasing population of Kurds, Greeks, Armenians, Arabs, Iraqis, Syrian refugees and other ethnic minorities.