Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2019

Rukiye Turdush was studying history in Shanghai in 1992 when she came across some Russian history books. They told a very different story about her people: the Uyghurs of what she calls East Turkestan, and what China calls the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, in the country’s far northwest.

The Chinese had taught her that their rule of Uyghur land was “unifying,” yet as she read the Russian books Turdush discovered that East Turkestan had defended itself from Chinese dynasties for centuries, and had twice briefly formed its own republic before being claimed by China in 1949.

Turdush remembers that Uyghurs were discriminated against by the Chinese when she was growing up. “They wanted to eradicate Uyghur culture and systematically implemented this policy,” she says. While she was in Shanghai her brother was killed, one of 18 activists trying to block Chinese buses from entering Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang. He was stabbed by members of a paramilitary group that ran the city, and Turdush says Urumqi’s police did nothing to investigate the murder.

Full article at OneZero by Medium’s website. Date of publication: 04/06/2019.

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