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The ‘Chinese Turks’


Despite always fighting for the rights of the Uyghurs, Ankara at present is being very careful not to upset trade relations with China

Uighur refugee women walk where they are housed in a gated complex in the central city of Kayseri, Turkey, February 11, 2015. Thousands of members of China's Turkic language-speaking Muslim ethnic minority have reached Turkey, mostly since last year, infuriating Beijing, which accuses Ankara of helping its citizens flee unlawfully. Turkish officials deny playing any direct role in assisting the flight. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Despite always fighting for the rights of the Uyghurs, Ankara at present is being very careful not to upset trade relations with China

For outside observers of Turkish-Chinese relations there is an interesting and quite confusing pattern with respect to the effect of the Uyghur issue on the behavior of the two sides in their interaction with each other. Whenever Turkey criticizes China’s handling of the Uyghurs, this immediately draws a counter-reaction by the Chinese, after which there is a quick thaw in relations, wherein not only a crisis is avoided, but the relationships receives a further boost, mostly in the form of economic goods.

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