Istanbul Municipality posted Chinese signboards at tram and subway stations as part of the treaty of friendship between Istanbul and Beijing. Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu’s controversial implementation sparked angry reaction from all parts of society in Turkey and abroad because of Turkic Uighur persecution in the hands of Chinese government.
Communist Chinese regime recently celebrated 70th anniversary of its founding. Istanbul Municipality signed a friendship treaty with Beijing as part of the anniversary activities. Following the treaty, Istanbul Municipality administration started posting Chinese signs at tram and subway stops throughout Istanbul. New mayor Imamoglu’s policy drew a lot of criticism.
Chinese government has been under international pressure for the persecution of its Turkic Uighur people which Chinese government denies. According to independent sources, more than 2 million Uighur have been put in detention facilities which Beijing call re-education camps. One recent drone footage believed to show hundreds of Uighur man handcuffed and blindfolded in prison dresses was one if the rare leaks from inside China about Uighurs.
Despite massive human rights violations wide-range persecutions, Istanbul’s new administration vehemently signed a friendship treaty and posted Chinese signboards which showed the names of the tram and subway stops.
One Twitter user drew attention to the fact that T1 tram line goes through Uighur neighborhood of Istanbul and Chinese signs were also posted at that specific stop as well. Another user said “Putting up Chinese signs in Istanbul is nothing but treason while millions of Uighurs are taken prisoners in Chinese concentration camps.”
Turkish government has also been criticized by the western media for its recent close relations with Chinese government despite Uighur issue. However, new mayor Imamoglu’s controversial policy has not hit the western media.