Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin Vol. 3 No. 6
Published by Eastern Turkestan Union in Europe
Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin Vol. 3 No. 6(December 1993)
APPEAL TO THE FREE WORLD
Isa Yusuf Alptekin, an Eastern Turkestani leader living in Istanbul, has issued the following appeal on the eve of the 45th anniversary of the World Human Rights Day:
"On the 45th anniversary of World Human Rights day, which was first observed on December 10, 1948, I would like to extend heartfelt greetings to the Eastern Turkestani people living at home and abroad.
"This is my appeal to the nations of the Free World in the name of my destitute people. The peoples of Eastern Turkestan are human beings like the nations living in the free world. But it is their unfortunate fate that they are undergoing sufferings at the hands of a ruthless Chinese Communist despotism such as history has rarely witnessed.
"Today, the peoples of Eastern Turkestan are waging a life and death struggle for survival. Fundamental individual human rights and freedoms of the peoples of Eastern Turkestan, including civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, continue to be violated by the Chinese Communists.
"The peoples of Eastern Turkestan, seeking only to live with dignity, continue to be killed, tortured and imprisoned on political grounds. The same situation exists in Tibet and Inner Mongolia.
"At present, the peoples of Eastern Turkestan are forced to choose between national extinction and a mortal struggle of heroic resistance to defend their cultural identity against a Chinese Communist policy of assimilation. This tense situation has turned Eastern Turkestan into a time bomb.
'An 86 page internal Chinese report has stressed that China is likely to break apart like Yugoslavia soon after Deng Xiaoping dies. According to the
report, that could happen if the Chinese Central government does not take drastic steps to adopt a U.S. style federal system that would turn China's rubber-stamp parliament into a more democratic institution and create a legal framework for handling conflicts of interest between Beijing and its so-called autonomous regions and provinces.
"The only real alternative for the peoples of Eastern Turkestan is no
doubt self-determination. The contents of the Chinese internal report, however, could offer a temporary solution pacifying the tense situation which exists not only in Eastern Turkestan, but throughout Asia.
"I therefore take this opportunity to urge the leaders, people and the press of the Free World to act immediately to pacify the situation in Eastern Turkestan, which threatens the peoples of that country and the destabilization of peace in the whole of Central Asia."
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ALLIED COMMITTEE MEETS IN MUNICH
An unprecedented meeting of Senior Representatives of Eastern Turkestan, Tibet and Inner Mongolia committed themselves to closer active cooperation in their struggle against Chinese Communist oppression during a two-day meeting in Munich on November 20-21.
In a telegram to US President Bill Clinton and other world leaders, particularly of Central Asian Republics, the Allied Committee made an urgent appeal for support of the peaceful struggle for the restoration of freedom and the establishment of democracy in Eastern Turkestan, Tibet and Inner Mongolia. The Allied Committee expressed concern about increasing Chinese troop concentrations on those countries' western borders.
This important meeting comes at a time of great uncertainty about the future of the People's Republic of China as reports of Deng Xiaoping's failing health increase.
"This is a time when we must work closely together to secure a free and democratic future for our peoples. It is important that we join forces and prepare for opportunities that may arise in the 'near future," said Mr. Temsiltu, a delegate from Inner Mongolia.
In line with this determination, a commission was formed to study the creation of an economic and political community or other forms of association, between the allied nations.
"We send a message to the world that we are serious about our independence, but also about working together in peace and cooperation in the future, regardless of our different ethnic and religious backgrounds. This will bring stability and peace to the region, and at the same time serve as an example to other peoples that live together" said Mr. Lodi Gyari, a Senior Tibetan delegate.
Other priorities included joint international action at the United Nations and elsewhere, and close cooperation with the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), of which both Tibet and Eastern Turkestan are founding members.
"Our peoples are united by history and by a common struggle for freedom from the world's last Communist empire. It is in the interest of the entire world that freedom and democracy comes to our countries. China is on the verge of either becoming a new super power, which could threaten other countries
politically, militarily and economically, or of precipitating into a chaos and civil war. Tibet, Eastern Turkestan and Inner Mongolia, want no part in either development, and must seek ways to secure their own peaceful, stable and democratic future," stated Dr. Sultan Mahmut Kashgarli from Eastern Turkestan.
The Governing Body of the Allied Committee elected Kalon Tashi Wangdi,
Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Tibetan Government in exile, Chairman, and Mr. Nurmuhammed Kenjiev, Uighur parliamentarian in Kyrgyzstan, Vice Chairman. Mr. Erkin AIptekin, an Eastern Turkestani, was elected President of the Executive Committee.
The peoples of Eastern Turkestan, Tibet and Inner Mongolia have had close political, cultural and religious ties for many centuries and share a common destiny today. It was, therefore, important that these peoples living abroad unite in order to highlight the activities of their respective communities at home and. increase awareness of their just struggle by bringing their peoples' plight to the attention of the Free World.
The idea of establishing the Allied Committee was born when Eastern Turkestani leaders Mehmet Emin Bughra and Isa Yusuf AIptekin first met His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Mussoorie, India on 14 April 1960 and discussed the importance of such a committee. When Mr. Isa Yusuf Alptekin met His Holiness in Dharamsala, India in 1970 the question was again raised. In 1983 His Holiness traveled to Turkey to visit Mr. Isa Yusuf Alptekin and the matter was further discussed. Representatives of Eastern Turkestan, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and Tibet attending a seminar held in Dharamsala in September 1984 used the opportunity to hold informal talks. These informal talks resulted in an Ad Hoc Committee with the specific task of organizing a proper meeting where the representatives of these different nations could hold formal discussions regarding future plans and programs.
The Allied Committee of the Peoples of Eastern Turkestan, Manchuria, Tibet and Inner Mongolia was officially set up during a conference in Zurich on 14
July 1985. The Allied Committee decided to regard His Holiness the Dalai Lama as its guiding force and spokesman.
The Third Conference of the Allied Committee was held in New York in
November 1986. At that meeting officers were elected and a charter and resolutions regarding the future activities were adopted.
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GERMAN ASSURANCE ON RIGHTS QUESTION
German Federal Minister for Post and Telecommunication Dr. Boethsch responded to an appeal by the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe (ETUE) in a
letter dated 18 November 1993. Minister Boethsch wrote that he was pleased to receive detailed information on human rights abuses in Eastern Turkestan. He wrote that the human rights situation in China as whole deserved attention and he assured the ETUE that one of the main topics in Chancellor Kohl's conversations with the Chinese leadership would be devoted to this question.
ETUE sent letters to Chancellor Kohl and ministers and businessman accompanying him on his November 14 visit to China requesting the German delegation to scrutinize Chinese human rights abuses in Eastern Turkestan during their talks with the Chinese leadership.
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DALAI LAMA PETITIONS FRANCE
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader and spokesman of the Allied Committee of the Peoples of Eastern Turkestan, Tibet and Inner Mongolia, last month presented a petition on Chinese human rights abuses in Eastern Turkestan to the French government. The petition which was prepared by the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe was presented to the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, during a meeting in Paris on November
During his several weeks in France, the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner met Paris Mayor Jacque Chirac, French Junior Minister For Humanitarian Action and Human Rights, Lucette Michaux-Chevry and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe.
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ROUND TABLE IN HOLLAND
Erkin Alptekin, chairman of the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe participated a round table discussion held in The Hague, Holland, on 14 November 1993. Other participants included Dr. Frank Pieke, a Chinese anthropologist and sociologist of the University of Leiden and Willem
Offenburg of Amnesty International, who has traveled to Eastern Turkestan and written several articles on the peoples of Eastern Turkestan and Chinese policy there. Dr. Michael van Walt van Praag, the General Secretary of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), lead the discussion.
The round table discussion on Eastern Turkestan was held as a part of the Dutch Government's information campaign 'Voices of the Earth: the World of Indigenous Peoples" organized by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization in the first two weeks of November. The aim of the campaign was to raise awareness of the world public concerning the condition of indigenous peoples. The campaign was held in the context of the United Nation's Year of Indigenous Peoples 1993, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly.
The Turkic peoples of Eastern Turkestan Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and others) are among the indigenous peoples of that country.
Alptekin, who also attended a conference in Haarlem, was interviewed by the Dutch newspaper Allgerneine Dagblad and Dutch International Radio. He also met Paul Peters of the Department of Human Rights and Theo Peters of the Department of Asia and Oceania of the Dutch Foreign Ministry.
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ETUE PARTICIPATES CULTURAL EVENING
The folklore troop of the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe participated in a cultural evening in Munich's Anton Fingerle Bildungszentrum on December 11. The evening was organized by the Turkish Art and Culture Organization. Other participants were Turkish, German, Greek, Spanish, Latin American and Italian folklore groups.
The small but effective folklore troop of ETUE has been quite successful in recent years in exposing the European public to traditional Eastern Turkestani Uighur dances, songs and music, which is threatened by Chinese moves toward cultural assimilation in Eastern Turkestan.
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INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC REMEMBERED
Eastern Turkestanis living abroad gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Independent Republic of Eastern Turkestan founded in Kashgar on 12 November 1933.
The peoples of Eastern Turkestan staged a mass uprising in 1931 to free themselves of foreign domination. After two years of fierce struggle they were successful in establishing an independent Eastern Turkestan Republic with Kashgar as its capital. The short-lived republic was overthrown by military intervention and political intrigues of the USSR.
Eastern Turkestani countrymen living in Europe were represented at the celebrations by Omer Kanat, General Secretary of the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe. Kanat, who briefed the delegates attending the celebration on the activities of ETUE, was interviewed by Turkish Television
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TIBET GROUPS OFFER COOPERATION
The Council of Tibet Initiative Groups in Germany, in a November 28 meeting, resolved to step up its Support the Eastern Turkestani cause by closer cooperation with the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe.
The Tibet groups authorized a delegation to meet with ETUE and agreed that Tibet Initiative Groups and ETUE would cooperate in press conferences and joint press releases, would organize joint demonstrations against nuclear testing in Eastern Turkestan and nuclear dumping in Tibet, would co-sponsor cultural evenings and would together stage campaigns for the release of political prisoners in Eastern Turkestan and Tibet.
The Tibet Initiative Groups also will actively support ETUE in informing the world Community, and particularly German public opinion, on Chinese human rights abuses in Eastern Turkestan, and the just struggle of the Eastern Turkestani people for self-determination.
ETUE was represented at the meeting by Vice Chairman Enver Can, General Secretary Omer Kanat, and member Asgar Can. Peter von Stam and Birgitta Werhman represented the Council of Tibet Initiative Groups in Germany.
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"FIGHT WITHOUT COMPROMISE AGAINST THE SEPARATISTS"
China's Minister for Minority Affairs, Ismail Ahmet, spoke in Eastern Turkestan's capital, Urumchi on November 8. He reiterated the hard-line Chinese position against the Eastern Turkestani people's efforts to maintain their own identity:
"Hostile forces both at home and abroad continue to step up infiltration, subversion and sabotage. A handful of national separatists in
Xinjiang, colluding with national separatists outside Xinjiang, have
also stepped up their splitting activities. In order to ensure stability, we should take the party's basic line as guidance and place emphasis of our work on frustrating the national separatist's. At present public order in the region is still serious and unstable factors continue. We should further improve the joint defense system of army, police, militia and people, resolutely resist and strive against hostile forces at home and abroad."
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'THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN HAVE DISAPPEARED IN EASTERN TURKESTAN'
An Uighur mother, who did not want to be identified, wrote the following letter dated November 2, to the Eastern Turkestan Information bulletin: "Since the 'reformed farmers' program crime in Eastern Turkestan has risen sharply. The Chinese offenses against the local people, including robbery, rape and kidnapping have gradually increased in recent years. During the same time thousands of Turkic children have disappeared without any trace. Among them is a six-year-old son of mine. It has been almost a year now since my child disappeared. I have applied to the police, government and party officials hundreds of times, but up to now nothing has been done to find my son. At present, there are thousands of parents who share my fate. Turkic officials have no authority. Those who have authority are mostly Chinese, but they pay no attention to our complaints. Some parents claim that these kidnapped children are taken to China and sold to Chinese families who do not have children or those who want to have more than the one child allowed by law to Chinese parents. Others claim that the kidnapped children have been killed in order to sell their organs. I am sending this letter to you on behalf of thousands of parents who are trying to find their children in the hope that the mothers and fathers in the free world could do something for us.'
Can the mothers and fathers in the free world do something for these destitute parents in Eastern Turkestan ?
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The unequal relations between Kyrgyzstan and China have become a major topic of discussion in the Kyrgyz press. The Kyrgyz newspaper Qirgiz Medeniyeti (Kyrgyz Civilization), wrote the following on November 10:
"After its declaration of independence Kyrgyzstan, like other Central Asian Republics, established diplomatic relations with China. Several bilateral economic agreements were signed and both countries started an open door policy towards each other. But the Chinese side profited more from this open door policy. Almost 75,000 Chinese marched into Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz government is having difficulty deporting many illegal Chinese settlers. On the other hand, Kyrgyzstan had hoped to establish good relations with the almost 150,000 fellow Kyrgyz living in Eastern Turkestan. Most of the Kyrgyz are settled in Kizilsu Kyrgyz County near the city of Aksu. Chinese authorities make it hard for the Kyrgyz in Eastern Turkestan to visit their relatives in Kyrgyzstan. Those who want to visit their relatives in Kyrgyzstan are continuously harassed and often interrogated by the Chinese authorities.
'China is eager to give economic help to Kyrgyzstan, for which we are thankful, but like many other Turkic peoples in Eastern Turkestan the ethnic Kyrgyz live below the poverty line. Instead of offering so much economic help to Kyrgyzstan why doesn't China try to improve the lives of the Kyrgyz and other Turkic peoples living under their own rule? True friendship between China and Kyrgyzstan can only be established if the Chinese side starts to treat the Kyrgyz and the other Turkic peoples as a human beings. This should be clear to all sides."
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The Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblat, in an article entitled "The Peaceful Dream of Eastern Turkestan," published on November 18, wrote that, Peking was pursuing a policy of demographic aggression against the local people in Eastern Turkestan. Chinese are moved in on a large scale. Every day 7,000 Chinese are moved across the border where the settlers are given 'hardship money'. If this situation continues, the Dutch paper concluded, the peoples of Eastern Turkestan may face cultural genocide in the coming decades.
The San Francisco Chronicle, in a November 6 article, "Uighurs in China", wrote: "Uighurs are one of many ethnic groups struggling for self-determination. Uighurs live in poverty while China exploits their resources. Their country is officially called Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, but that name is misleading. Recently Uighurs have watched many neighboring Turkic peoples become independent as the former Soviet Union dissolved. But China continue to resist Uighur self-determination. Although the costs of controlling a region so far from Beijing may be high, so is the value of Eastern Turkestan. In the first place, Eastern Turkestan acts as a buffer between China and Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and the new Central Asian Republics. Moreover, hidden from the world, Eastern Turkestan has been China's nuclear testing ground, decimating many human beings, plants and animals... In Eastern Turkestan and abroad, Uighur resistance appears on the rise. Recent articles in the Chinese press decry 'separatism', anti-socialism', and 'nationalist mania."
Central Asian Newsfile, in its October-November issue, wrote: 'The Uighurs, who share a Turkic ancestry with the main indigenous groups of the newly independent Central Asian states, are less than happy with the prospect of everlasting Chinese overlordship. In the 1940s, taking advantage of civil war and Japanese intervention in China, the Uighurs set up their own Republic of Eastern Turkestan. Uighurs deny responsibility for bomb attacks in Xinjiang over the last few years, but the effect of such incidents has been to harden Beijing's attitude towards any manifestations of Uighur national identity. The authorities have encouraged immigration to Xinjiang from Central China in an effort to water down the indigenous population (as in Tibet) but this has led to ethnic clashes over the last few years."
According to German Frankfurter Allgerneine Zeitung of December 21, Son Hanliagn, regional Communist Party Chief of Eastern Turkestan, acknowledged for the first time during an interview with Chinese Communist Party's organ Rin Minribao, the extent of recent tumult in Eastern Turkestan. He did not elaborate.
According to the German newspaper, Uighurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and Tajiks in Eastern Turkestan, who are related to the peoples living in the newly independent republics of Central Asia, have recently strengthened their own struggle for independence, and. Chinese authorities have taken extraordinary measures to crush such "separatist' attempts.
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ETUE OFFICERS REELECTED
The Eastern Turkestani Union In Europe held its annual general assembly in Munich, on December 12. Erkin Alptekin, Chairman of ETUE, Enver Can, 1st Vice Chairman, Tursun Iyigun 2nd Vice Chairman, Omar Kanat, General Secretary, Asgar Can, Treasurer have been reelected to their posts. Mecit Aktash was elected Eastern Turkestani Community leader in Europe.
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INTERNATIONAL UIGHUR UNION MEETING
The International Uighur Union held its annual meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on December 18. Almost 450 delegates attended from various parts of the CIS, the Middle East and Europe. The one-day meeting reelected retired Lieutenant-colonel Kehriman Gojamberdiev president of the organization. The International Uighur Union, an umbrella organization for Uighurs in the CIS, supports the struggle for democracy, human rights and self-determination for Uighurs in Eastern Turkestan. It was established on 16 January 1992.
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The aim of the Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin is to disseminate objective current information on the people, culture and civilization of Eastern Turkestan and to provide a forum for discussion on a wide range of topics and complex issues. ETIB is published bi-monthly by the Eastern Turkestani Union in Europe(ETUE), established January 11, 1991 in Munich, Germany. Neither ETIB nor ETUE claim or accept responsibility for views otherwise identified within our pages. We hope that those using information from our publication in published works will be courteous enough to cite its source. All inquiries and contributions should be addressed to Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin, Asgar Can, Editor, St. Blasien Str. 2, D-80809 Munich, Germany.
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Last updated 06/29/99