East Turkistan Symposium concludes
Free East Turkistan Symposium that was organized by Istanbul Peace Platform, a group of NGOs including the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, came to a conclusion. Held at Zeytinburnu Culture Center
East Turkistan, Central Asia, Turkey 23.03.2010

The symposium aimed at ending pressure and rights violations in East Turkistan, which has been under the Chinese occupation for six decades. A large number of East Turkistani citizens participated. Various journalists, writers, academics, intellectuals and human rights advocates from different parts of the world took part in the symposium as speakers and discussed in detail problems of the Uyghur region.   

The symposium consisted of four sessions over two days. In the first session led by Ahmet Faruk Ünsal, Prof. Alimcan İnayet, Prof. Alaeddin Yalçınkaya, Dr. Ekrem Hicazi, Seyit Tümtürk, Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa and Dr. Meryem Hâkim delivered speeches. The history of East Turkistan and the situation of the region in the wake of the September 11 events were discussed in the first session.  

In the second session led by Ömer Faruk Korkmaz, speakers Dr. Ataullah Şahyar, Prof. Macide Mahluf, Ahmet Faruk Ünsal and Abdulsalam Abdulgani discussed daily rights braches, forced migration, Chinese diaspora, genocide and ethnic ad religious segregation issues. 

The first session of the second day was headed by Fatma Bostan Ünsal and Prof. Dru Gladney, Ahmet Emin Dağ, Assist. Prof. Erkin Emet, Chinese human rights advocate Dr. Yang Jianli and Att. Gülden Sönmez had presentations. China’s resistance to change, Tiananmen events, East Turkistani struggle and civil society organizations were discussed in this session.  

In the last session Assist. Prof. Berdal Aral, Assist, Prof. Erkin Emet, Siraceddin Azizi Şemseddin and Att. Cihat Gökdemir presented their papers. 

The main topic of the final session was self-determination and path to freedom.  

Participants expressed their content over the organization of the symposium and hoped it would set a milestone for the East Turkistani question. They noted it was the first program that discussed the question in such detail and said they would like to see more similar activities.

AK Party MP Hüsnü Tuna, Istanbul provincial head of Saadet Party Erol Erdoğan, Istanbul provincial head of Büyük Birlik Party Bayram Karaca, Head of the East Turkistan Foundation Hamit Göktürk, Hidayet Oğuzhan, head of the East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association, and Deputy Head of the World Uyghur Congress Seyit Tümtürk backed the symposium with their speeches.   

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