IRAQI  TURKMEN  FRONT

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Subject: Report on the Uyghur Conference at the EU Parliament.

Iraqi Turkmen Front EU representative Dr. Hassan AYDINLI attends the Uyghur conference at the EU Parliament in Brussels on 29-30 April 2010.

Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative, Dr. Hassan Aydinli  received an invitation from the General Secretary of the World Uyghur Congress in Europe Mr. Dolkun Isa, to attend the two-day conference that their organisation “WUC” was organising at the European Parliament in Brussels on 29-30 April 2010.

The conference was held under the title:-

 “UYGHURS CALL FOR DIALOGUE WITH CHINA – IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CHINESE CONSTITUTION TO SAFEGARD AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF THE UYGHUR PEOPLE

It was organized by “WUC” in collaboration with the following support groups:-

1-      Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe “ALDE” group at the European Parliament.

2-      National Endowment for Democracy “NED”.

3-      Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization “UNPO”

And it was hosted by Mr. Niccolo Rinaldi  MEP, Vice–Chair of ALDE and Mr. Ivo Vajgl, MEP of the ALDE Group at the EU Parliament.

The programme of this two-day Uyghur conference in the European Parliament at Brussels has been very interesting, rich and well conceived. It was successful in gathering huge interest from participants all over the world.

The conference was opened by Ms Rebiya Kadeer, President of the World Uyghur Congress before MEPs, international experts and researchers entered into a comprehensive presentation and discussion of Human Rights and Minority Protection, Chinese constitutional rights and Uyghur-Chinese relations.

The Panel besides Ms Rebiya Kadeer, President of the World Uyghur Congress, included many well known personalities in International Politics, Democracy and Freedom Advocates, Human Rights activists, Peace and Progress in the world defenders & lobbyists,  Cultural Autonomy for the Minorities Supporters,  NGOs , Humanists, Academics, and Media Specialists namely:-

1-      Mr. Niccolo Rinaldi MEP, Vice- Chairman of the ALDE group at EU Parliament.

2-      Mrs. Heidi Hautala MEP, Chairwoman of the Human Rights Committee of the EU Parliament.

3-      Mr. Ivo Vajgil MEP, Substitute Member of Foreign Affairs Committee of the EU Parliament.

4-      Mr. Laszlo Tökés MEP.

5-      Mr. Marco Panella   (Former MEP - ALDE group).

6-      Mr. Marco Perduca  Senator in the Italian Senate.

7-      Mr. Tashi Wangdi,  EU Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

8-      Mr. Marino Busdachin, General Secretary of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).

9-      Mrs. Louisa Coan Greve, Vice President of  National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

10-  Ms. Corinna  Francis, Researcher on China (International Secretariat of  Amnesty International).

11-  Dr. Eva  Pföstl, Istituto di Studi Politici S. Pio.

12-  Mr. Thomas Benedikter, Autonomy Expert, South Tyrol.

13-  Mr. Ahmet Faruk Ünsal,  President of MAZLUMLER (Organisation of Human Rights and Solidarity with Oppressed People)

14-  Mr. Willy Fautré, Director of the Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF)

15-  Mr. Ulrich Delius,  Asia Director,  Society for Threatened People (STP)

16-  Mrs. Marie Holzman, Sinologist (specialised in Chinese affairs)

17-   Dr. Erkin Emet, Professor at Ankara University.

18-  Mr. Yitzhak Shichor, Professor at Haifa University.

19-  Mr. Michael Gibb, PHD candidate at Oxford University.

20-  Mr. Nuri Turkel, Attorney and former President of the Uyghur American Association (UAA).

21-  Mr. Perhat Muhammad , Senior Researcher of World Uyghur Congress and Vice-President of East Turkistan in Europe.

22-  Mr. Dolkun Isa, General Secretary of the World Uyghur Congress and of East Turkistan in Europe.

23-  Mr. Anver Can, Former General Secretary of the World Uyghur Congress and of East Turkistan in Europe.

24-  Mr. Erkin Alptekin, Chief Adviser of World Uyghur Congress. (Note : he was absent for health reasons but his message was read at the conference).

In their opening statements, the organizers and the hosts of the conference introduced the Uyghur people’s just and legitimate cause as well as their long, hard and difficult struggle in East Turkistan with the Chinese Communist Authority for the recognition of their basic human rights as citizens of China as well as for the respect of their specific values and inspirations as a minority in that country such as the Uyghur history, customs, language and culture.

Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer, President of the World Uyghur Congress in her intervention has lengthily developed the Uyghur people’s history and the causes of their struggle with the Chinese central government which deny them basic human rights, discriminates against them in every aspect of life, violates their constitutional rights in denying them the autonomy which is provided by and mentioned in the Chinese constitution, applies an assimilation policy to the Uyghur people by forcefully deporting hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs (especially women and young girls) from East Turkistan to the Eastern provinces of China under the false pretext of employment opportunity  for them in China and since 11 September 2001 it accuses them of terrorism and labels the Uyghur leadership and activists as “terrorists” in order to suppress their legitimate aspiration for self rule, democracy, equal citizenship and for a genuine autonomy in East Turkistan. 

Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer condemned the violations of the Chinese authorities against her people and called for the denunciation of the Chinese policies forcefully imposed on Uyghur people. She described the events of last July in East Turkistan as a horrible massacre committed by the Chinese on defenceless Uyghurs and called on the European Union policy makers to hold China government responsible for this massacre and to support the Uyghur people’s cause in the same manner and at the same level as the cause of the Tibetan People when they are dealing with China economically and politically.

The participants to the conference and particularly those who were  on the panel developed the following topics and discussed the following subjects concerning the Uyghur people, their legitimate cause and the way to support them more efficiently.

The first panel was held under the title of:

UYGHURS CALLING FOR DIALOGUE WITH CHINA: INTERNAL SELF-DETERMINATION, CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS AND AUTONOMY.

The following subjects have been presented by the panel and discussed by the participants to the conference:

-          LEGAL PROTECTION OF UYGHUR PEOPLE THROUGH CHINESE CONSTITUTION.

-          EUROPEAN AUTONOMY SYSTEMS OF MAJOR SIGNIFICANCE

-          HOW TO ASSESS THE EFFICIENCY OF AN AUTONOMY ARRANGEMENT;

-          THE ROLE OF UYGHUR DIASPORA ORGANIZATIONS VERSUS BEIJING.

-          THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING COHERENT UYGHUR POLICY IN THE USA AND IN EUROPE: THE RIGHT WAY TO HELP THE UYGHUR PEOPLE.

-          STATES AND REGIONS: WORKING FOR MUTUAL BENEFITS.

The second panel was held under the heading of:

GROSS  HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN CHINA AND PROTECTION OF MINORITIES ON CHINESE AND INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS.

The following subjects have been presented by the panel and discussed by the participants to the conference in the floor.

-          HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST UYGHURS: THE RIGHT TO CULTURE, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND EQUAL TREATMENT DENIED.

-          ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION IN EAST TURKESTAN.

-          RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT IN CONFLICT PREVENTION.

-          FORCED INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT OF UYGHUR WORKERS AND WOMEN.

-          ETHNIC GROUPS IN CHINA AND THE LANGUAGE POLICY BY CHINA.

-          UYGHURS’ RIGHTS AND REPRESSION: A CHINESE VIEW.

The third panel was held under the heading of:-

BUILDING MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING IN EAST TURKESTAN

And the following subjects have been presented by this panel and discussed by the participants to the conference:

-          AFTER CHINA’S CRACKDOWN: CHALLENGES FOR THE UYGHUR CAUSE.

-          THE CONDITION OF ACHIEVING DURABLE PEACE IN EAST TURKESTAN.

-          PLANNING FOR A DEMOCRATIC FUTURE: WHAT UYGHURS CAN DO TO PREPARE NOW.

-          THE EVENTS OF 5 JULY 2009 IN URUMQI: STRATEGY FOR THE FUTURE.

The conference ended with a PRESS CONFERENCE of  Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer held in Room Anna POLITKOVSKAYA in the EU Parliament to which also took part Niccolo Rinaldi MEP, Mr. Marino Busdachin (UNPO) and Mrs. Louisa Coan Greve (NED) in front of numerous European and International newspapers correspondents, news agencies editors and radio-television reporters.

The conference has been very successful and was attended by many Europeans, Uyghurs and Turkic peoples.

The topics of this conference could be equally used for the Iraqi Turkmens and their cause, as the situation of the Uyghurs in China is similar to that of the Turkmens in Iraq. 

Indeed, the assimilation policy, discrimination and the bad living conditions imposed on the Turkmens,  considered as a minority in Iraq by the nationalistic Arab regimes that ruled the country during 85 years (from the end of the First World War in 1918 up to the regime change in Iraq by the US and the UK invasion and occupation forces on 9th April 2003) and  by the hegemonic Kurdish regime which rules the north of Iraq since more than 7 years (since April 2003)  are similar to the situation of  the  Uyghurs in  East Turkestan, who are facing the same assimilation policy, discrimination and bad living conditions imposed upon them by the Chinese regime. Uyghurs are considered as a minority in China under communist rule and totalitarian Chinese regime since more than 60 years (since the occupation of East Turkestan by the Chinese invasion and occupation forces in 1949).

Consequently, the Iraqi Turkmen Front Representative in the European Union Dr. Hassan Aydinli has followed this conference with great attention, he participated actively in the discussions and he drew an undeniable parallel between the Turkmen national cause and the Uyghur national cause in front of the participants, organizers, hosts and sponsors of this Uyghur conference.

During the Tea and Coffee breaks between the sessions, Dr. Hassan Aydinli established new contacts and presented the Turkmens’ plight in some details to them, asking for their support to the Turkmens’ legitimate cause which continues since 1918. He spoke with MEPs Mr. Niccolo Rinaldi, Mr. Laszlo Tökés, Mr. Marco Panella , with the Italian Senator Mr. Marco Perduca and with Mrs. Louisa Coan Greve , Mrs. Corinna  Francis, Mrs. Marie Holzman, Mr. Marino Busdachin, Mr. Willy Fautré, Mr. Ahmet Faruk Ünsal, Mr. Nuri Turkel  and Mr. Anver Can.  

After the conference Dr. Hassan Aydinli met lengthily with Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer, President of the World Uyghur Congress and with the executive board members of her organization in the EU and in the USA. He renewed his support to them and to their legitimate national cause, transmitting to them the best wishes and assuring them of the solidarity of the Iraqi Turkmens as well as the brotherly support and heartfelt salutations of the Iraqi Turkmen Front’s leadership and members.

Dr. Aydinli condemned once again the massacres of Uyghurs in Urumqi by the Chinese regime on 5th July 2009 and described to Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer and to her colleagues in the Uyghur movement  how the Iraqi Turkmens have followed with deep sorrow and great concern the inhuman treatments inflicted to their Uyghur brothers in East Turkestan by the  communist regime of China, adding that the Iraqi Turkmens all over Iraq have condemned the killings of innocent Uyghurs in Urumqi last July and the human rights violations of  the Uyghurs all over East Turkestan by the Chinese totalitarian regime which caused the killing and wounding of thousands of innocent Uyghurs.

He informed Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer and her colleagues that while he himself was in Kerkük last July for the commemoration of  the 50th anniversary of the horrible massacre and killing of the Turkmen leadership and activists in Kerkük  on 14th , 15th and 16th  July 1959 by the Kurdish chauvinists allied to some elements from the Kerkük branch of the Iraqi communist party,  the Turkmens in Iraq have held remembrance ceremonies in all the mosques in Kerkük for the Turkmen martyrs and on the same occasion they have mourned the deaths of their Uyghur brothers at the hands of Chinese totalitarians on 5th July 2009 in Urumqi. He told her that on Friday 17th July 2009 the Turkmens prayed the SALLAT AL ĞAIB for the souls of the Uyghur martyrs.

Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer and her colleagues were very receptive to the tragic history of the Turkmens in Iraq and were deeply touched by the feelings of the Turkmens in respect of the Uyghurs in East Turkestan especially when they heard that the Turkmens in Kerkük have held mourning ceremonies and prayed for the Uyghur martyrs.

Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer and her colleagues thanked ITF’s EU representative for his participation to the conference and for his presence and support to all Uyghur activities in Europe. They have asked him to convey their sincere and fraternal salutations to all Iraqi Turkmens and to ITF leadership in particular.                       

On 1st May, the Uyghur representative in Belgium Mr. Abdumutalip organised a reception in Manage (Belgium) to which the participants to the conference were invited. At the reception ITF EU representative spoke once again with Mrs. Louisa Coan Greve, Vice-President of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) about the Turkmens’ plight in Iraq.

Dr. Hassan Aydinli,

ITF European Union Representative

Brussels, 2nd May 2010.