Ankara calls on China to publish details on deadly fire in Uyghur region

    REGION  27 November 2022 - 13:27

    Türkiye expressed its condolences on November 26 to the victims of a deadly fire in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, urging the government that details of the incident should be made public.

    According to Anadolu agency, "We are deeply saddened to learn that a fire which broke out in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China caused loss of lives and injuries. We extend our condolences and wish a speedy recovery to the injured", the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, however stressing that Ankara "expects the reasons for the fire to be made public".

    The fire broke out in a residential building in the capital city Urumqi that was reportedly under a coronavirus lockdown. Ten people were killed.

    As the BBC reported, the deadly fire led to anger and protests against COVID-19 restrictions. Videos shared on social media platforms show people demonstrating against Covid restrictions after the fire.

    People in Urumqi are seen confronting officials, breaking down a barrier and shouting "end the Covid lockdown".

    Chinese authorities in Urumqi have now promised to phase out restrictions - though deny that these stopped people from escaping Thursday's fire.

    Restrictions have been in place in the city - capital of the western Xinjiang region - since early August.

    Although that has been disputed by Chinese state media, the local authorities did issue an unusual apology on November 25, vowing to punish anyone who had deserted their duty that could have led to the fire.

    Caliber.Az recalls, that the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China is predominantly inhabited by ethnic Uyghur Muslims, a Turkic ethnic group. It has sadly gained international attention due to the Chinese government's poor treatment of the minority group and efforts of reducing the traces of the local culture by introducing Chinese culture through forceful measures.

    As Anadolu reported citing UN data, at least 1 million Uyghurs are kept against their will in places Beijing calls "vocational training centers" and the international community defines as "re-education camps".

    Caliber.Az

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