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Turkey accuses China over human rights as ‘poet dies’

Tragedy’: Abdurehim Heyit

TURKEY urged China to close ‘concentration camps’ where it says more than a million Uighurs — members of a minority Turkic Muslim population — are detained.

Foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy called on the Chinese authorities to respect human rights.

He also said he had been informed of the death of famed Uighur musician and poet Abdurehim Heyit, who was serving eight years in jail over one of his songs.

His death could not be independently confirmed.Mr Aksoy said: ‘This tragedy has further reinforced the reaction of the Turkish public opinion towards serious human rights violations in the Xinjiang region. We expect this legitimate response to be taken into account.’

China’s embassy asked Turkey to withdraw its ‘false accusations’, calling Mr Aksoy’s comments ‘completely unacceptable’.

After months of denying their existence, the country has acknowledged the camps, terming them vocational training centres.