Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan- the self-proclaimed protector of Islam and the wannabe leader of the Turkic world could be looking to sell Uyghur Muslims to China. And we are not exaggerating. Turkey could actually be looking to deport Uyghur Turks to China, in return for the Chinese vaccine.
As per Business Insider, China has ratified a 2017 extradition deal with Turkey. Ankara has not yet ratified it, but as per Nikkei, the extradition deal could be discussed by the Turkish Parliament when it reconvenes on January 26. But what is really concerning is that China is also delaying the transportation of vaccines to Turkey. This is giving rise to fears that vaccine delivery is being held up in order to induce Turkey into deporting Uyghurs.
And once, Turkey ratifies the extradition treaty, it will have no choice but to extradite anyone with criminal charges if asked by China. Now, every Uyghur Turk is a criminal for the Chinese Communist Party. They are subjected to mass surveillance and charged with offences for things as inconsequential as growing a beard or receiving a phone call from outside China.
Ultimately, what China plans to do is imprison every single Uyghur in a concentration camp. Many Uyghur Muslims had fled to Turkey, probably because of the Turkic link. According to Voice of America, Turkey is home to 50,000 Uyghurs- the largest diasporic group of this persecuted community.
However, Uyghurs in Turkey would now be worried about being sent back to China where they face involuntary sterilisation, organ harvesting and complete lack of religious freedom. Dilxat Raxit, a world Uyghur Congress spokesperson told Agence France-Presse: “This extradition treaty will cause worry among Uighurs who have fled China and do not yet have Turkish citizenship.”
As for Turkey, Erdoğan has only himself to blame for landing Ankara in such a tight spot. Everyone, including China, knows that the Chinese vaccine is unsafe and ineffective. Yet, the Erdoğan administration declared that China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine had a success rate of 91.25%. China, thus, inferred that Ankara is desperate for the vaccine and thus decided to make Turkey pay for the vaccines, in kind.
Ankara had planned to start vaccination by December 11, but as per Al-monitor, the Sinovac vaccine shots did not arrive in Turkey until December 30. The delay in vaccine arrivals prompted the Turkish opposition to ask if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was under duress from China to ratify the extradition deal in exchange for vaccines.
Yildirim Kaya, a politician in Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party asked the Health Minister Fahrettin Koca in the Parliament, “Is the Chinese vaccine being held for the return of Uighur Turks?”
There are clear hints that China is looking for a barter transaction here- ineffective vaccines in return of 50,000 Uyghur Muslims. China wants to give Turkey its vaccines in exchange for Uyghur Muslims to work at its sweatshops.