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Turkiye Fidan visits China, will travel to Uyghur region

June 4, 2024 at 9:02 pm

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan (L) meets with Chen Wenqing, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and also head of its Commission for Political and Legal Affairs in Beijing, China on June 03, 2024 [Murat Gök – Anadolu Agency]

Turkish Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, is expected to visit the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region where Muslims live, before wrapping up his trip on Wednesday, according to Turkish broadcaster, TRT.

The Uyghur issue has been one of the critical factors in influencing China–Turkiye ties over the last few decades.

Last year, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, met with President Tayyip Erdogan during his first foreign trip since being appointed and talked about the rights of Uyghurs Muslims in China.

Since the 1950s, Turkiye has been a favourite destination for Uyghurs fleeing persecution in China, and around 50,000 people from this ethnic group live in Turkiye today—forming the largest Uyghur diaspora outside China.

Fidan will also talk about bilateral trade ties between two countries as Turkiye is the member of China’s economic ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

The negotiation on Ankara’s accession bid began in 2005 but has long been stalled over a range of issues – from human rights to foreign policy – with several European capitals.

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