Turkey has been blamed for handing over Uighur Muslims to China in exchange for the coronavirus vaccines.
In December, the allegations stem from the timing of two events. The long-delayed arrival of Turkey’s order of vaccine from the Chinese firm Sinovac and Beijing’s forcefully moved to approve an extradition deal with Ankara in 2017.
According to Al-Monitor, on the 11th of December, Turkey had planned to start vaccinating people with Sinovac shot. The first shipment did not come until the 30th of December.
In Turkey, The delay of vaccine caused immediate opposition among politicians and raised concerns that China pressured the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to approve the extradition deal if they want to take the vaccines.
On the 27th of December, it was announced that China had approved the extradition treaty. These deals included that Turkey must extradite anyone with criminal charges to China if asked and vice versa.
The Nikkei reported that Turkey’s deal had not been confirmed even though its Parliament is expected to discuss it when it reconvenes on the 26th of January.
The ratification of the Chinese extradition treaty has caused Turkey to send back its Uighur population to China, where they may go through intense surveillance and mass detention.
China has charged Uighurs with arbitrary crimes during the past years. Such as receiving calls from other countries and growing a beard.
Thousands of Uighurs have flown towards China for Turkey, whose language and culture are familiar to those of the Uighur community, during the past few years. According to Voice of America and The Guardian, Turkey is home to some 50,000 Uighurs, and it is the largest Uighur diasporic group in the world.
Most of the Uighurs did not have Turkish citizenship who fled from China to Turkey, which means that Ankara will not protect them.
The deputy chairman of the opposition, The Good Party Lütfü Türkkan, blamed the government for striking a deal with Beijing.