People from China’s Uighur Muslim ethnic group have protested outside the Turkish Olympic Committee building in Istanbul, calling for a boycott of next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing over China’s treatment of the minority.
“China, stop the genocide; China, close the camps,” chanted the demonstrators, waving the blue-and-white flags of the independence movement of East Turkestan.
Protesters also carried banner reading “Stop Genocide Olympics.”
“China does not have the right to host the Olympics while committing all the torture, cruelty and genocide against Uighurs,” Uighur housewife Munevver Ozuygur told Reuters.
Munevver said she had relatives in camps in China.
The United States and many of its allies, including Britain, Canada, Australia, Japan and Denmark, have said they will not send official diplomatic delegations to the Games in protest at China’s rights record.
The Beijing Olympics begin on February 4.
Uyghurs living in Turkey have criticised Ankara’s approach to China, Reuters reported.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said this month he conveyed Turkey’s “views, expectations and sensitivities” over the Uyghurs to his Chinese counterpart during talks in Beijing.
The Uighur Muslims are facing the harshest manifestation of Islamophobia at the hands of the Chinese Government with the forced sterilisation of women and the detention without trial in concentration camps of over a million people.