East Turkestan: Turkey Pressing China
Turkish State Minister, who is on a formal visit to China, met on Monday [31 August 2009] Chinese Prime Minister to discuss killings of Uyghurs, state-run news agency said.
Zafer Caglayan is in China as the special representative of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He is the first Turkish minister visiting China after the killings of Uyghurs in Xinjiang province, a name China gave to the region in 1955.
Chinese Primer Wen Jiabao said he was pleased with Caglayan's visit to his country as a special envoy of Erdogan, adding that Caglayan's visit was a sign of importance Erdogan attached to relations between Turkey and China.
"China attaches great importance to relations, too. We want to strengthen and improve bilateral relations with the principle of mutual respect, equality and interest," Wen Jiabao said.
Later, the meeting continued behind closed door.
Uyghur demonstrators took the streets in Urumqi on July 5 to protest against Han Chineses' attacks on Uyghurs workers at a factory in south China in June  which left two Uyghurs dead. Hans in Urumqi sought bloody revenge two days later.
World Uyghur Congress said that near 800 Uyghurs were killed during a week-violence after Han Chineses attacks and following intervention of China forces. The China government put the death toll 197.
Video appeared showing Chinese lynch that sparked Uyghur protests. Exiled Uyghur leaders said the protests were peaceful until security forces over-reacted with deadly force.
East Turkestan was occupied by the communist China in 1949 and its name was changed in 1955.
He said: "The incidents in China are, simply put, a genocide. There's no point in interpreting this otherwise."
Turkey keeps protests against China violence in Uyghur region and a Minister and a Turkish consumer organization has called for boycott of Chinese goods.
Many Uyghurs resent Han Chinese rule, complaining they're marginalised economically and politically in their own land, while having to tolerate a rising influx of Han Chinese migrants.
Meanwhile, human rights groups accuse Beijing of using claims of "terrorism" as an excuse to crack down on peaceful pro-independence sentiment and expressions of Uyghur identity.
East Turkistan, that has 8 million Uighurs, borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, has abundant oil reserves and is China's largest natural gas-producing region.