China's treatment of Uighurs is 'embarrassment for humanity': Turkey

Turkey urges China to shut down Uighur concentration camps

Turkey calls on China to close Uighur detention camps

Turkey called on China to close its internment camps for Uighur Muslims, saying the camps which reportedly hold a million ethnic people are a "great shame for humanity". "Our Uyghur-origin citizens living overseas can not hear from their relatives living in the region", he added.

The criticism comes after the death of a renowned Uighur musician and poet, Abdurehim Heyit, who was in custody.

Mr Aksoy was referring to China's mass incarceration of the Muslim Uyghur minority situated in the north-western province of Xinjiang - a region incorporated into modern China after leaders of the East Turkestan Republic surrendered to the Chinese Communist Party in 1949.

"This tragic incident has further strengthened the Turkish public's reaction to the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang Region".

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Turkey invites Chinese authorities to respect fundamental human rights of Uighur Turks and shut down concentration camps, Aksoy said.

"We call on the global community and the Secretary General of the United Nations to take effective measures in order to bring to an end this human tragedy in Xinjiang", Aksoy said in a statement, published on the ministry's official website late on Saturday.

"We've learned with great sorrow that dignified poet Abdurehim Heyit, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for his compositions, died in the second year of his imprisonment", he said.

The foreign ministry spokesman voiced Turkey's expectation from Chinese authorities to consider reactions of Turkish people over serious human rights violations. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 percent of Xinjiang's population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.

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Beijing has stepped up surveillance and security measures in the Uighur homeland of Xinjiang, in China's northwest, since ethnic riots erupted there in 2009.

Up to 1 million people, or about 7 percent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to USA officials and United Nations experts.

Heyit had been detained in Urumqi, in 2017 without being charged with any crime and sentenced to 8 years in prison. The country is home to some 23 million Muslims, but restrictions on them are intensifying.

Also known by many people in Turkey, the prominent musician gave a concert at Gazi University in Turkey's capital of Ankara, in 2015.

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He was in prison when he died.

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