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The last major opponent of China’s Muslim oppression has retreated into silence. Here’s why that’s a big deal.

xi jinping erdoganRoman Pilipey/Pool via Reuters

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said that Uighurs — the Muslim ethnic minority under oppression by the Chinese government — actually lead happy lives in China, Chinese state-media reported.
  • This apparent capitulation is particularly significant because Turkey, until now, had been the only Muslim country to stand up against China for the Uighurs.
  • Turkey is also home to hundreds of thousands of Uighurs. Many of them already live in limbo without work permits or legal residency, and unable to return to China.
  • The reason behind Erdogan's about-face is not clear. He has, however, been trying to strike greater economic partnerships with Beijing.
  • Turkey — whose currency collapsed, and whose economy went into recession last year — has grown increasingly reliant on Chinese economic aid in recent years.
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In recent months, a wave of Islamic countries stood up to China over its oppression of the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority before backing down again, largely due to fear of Beijing's economic vengeance.

Turkey — which bills itself as a leader of the Islamic world — is the latest country to retreat into silence.See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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