View Full Version : Uyghur set himself on fire in Turkey

Uyghur News
08-08-08, 11:56
Anti-China protests worldwide as Olympics begin

By JENNIFER QUINN – 39 minutes ago

Mehmet Dursun Uygurturkoglu, 35, an ethnic Chinese Uighur living in Turkey, lies on the ground after setting himself alight and being sprayed with a fire extinguisher, during a protest outside the Chinese embassy in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. He was among several hundred Uighur demonstrators protesting human rights violations in China just before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

LONDON (AP) — An anti-China protester set himself on fire outside the Chinese Embassy in the Turkish capital and demonstrators raised the Tibetan flag Friday in defiance in London in protests worldwide timed to coincide with the start of the Beijing Olympics.

In Ankara, a demonstrator suffered second-degree burns after setting himself on fire during a rally by several hundred ethnic Uighurs, officials said. He was identified as a 35-year-old from Turkey's local Uighur community, an ethnic minority in China seeking independence or greater autonomy.

In Katmandu, Nepal's capital, thousands of Tibetan exiles demonstrated at the Chinese Embassy, shouting, "China, thief: Leave our country. Stop killing in Tibet."

Police forcibly dispersed the protesters, some of whom tried to storm the embassy, police official Ramesh Thapa said. More than 1,000 people were detained for violating a ban on demonstrations — the largest number of Tibetans detained in a single day in Katmandu.

More than 2,000 protesters marched in Dharmsala, a north Indian hill town that is home to the Tibetan government-in-exile and the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader.

In China, three Americans who planned to hold Tibetan flags during the opening ceremony were detained by police as they traveled to Beijing National Stadium, Students for a Free Tibet executive director Lhadon Tethong said.

While the spectacle of the opening ceremonies was broadcast on large screens in London's Trafalgar Square, the Chinese Embassy was the focus for protesters railing against the country's treatment of people in Tibet, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Myanmar.

"The Olympics shouldn't have been offered to China on the basis of their human rights record," said Liawang Tsang, whose family fled Tibet nine years ago. "But from this, there have been positives as the attention of the world is now on China and their human rights record is in the spotlight."

About 300 people gathered in front of the embassy, most wearing red headbands in memory of people killed in Tibet. They demonstrated amid a sea of flags, and were accompanied by a Buddhist monk. A small counter-demonstration of about a dozen people took place around the corner from the embassy.

Hundreds in Brussels joined the global protest, with five demonstrators standing outside the European Union headquarters with Olympic rings around their necks, bloodstained bandages on their heads and their wrists bound in chains to call for a free Tibet.

The Beijing Games have become a focus for activists critical of China on issues ranging from its human rights record and heavy-handed rule in Tibet, to its abortion policies and repression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Beijing considers the Olympic Games a huge source of national pride and is doing all it can to make sure they go off without a hitch — such as ugly television images of protesters scuffling with police.

In China, authorities were on their highest alert in the final hours before the opening ceremony, guarding against anyone who might try to take the shine off the curtain raiser watched worldwide. Beijing's landmark Tiananmen Square was sealed off. Foreigners who have protested in recent days were deported, and Chinese who did the same were in custody.

In semiautonomous Hong Kong, Briton Matt Pearce was detained after unfurling two banners on a major bridge. Wearing a mask of a horse's head and a white shirt bearing the Olympic rings, Pearce hung banners reading: "We want human rights and democracy" and "The people of China want freedom from oppression."

Hong Kong police said he was being held for questioning on a possible charge of causing a public nuisance.

Forty other protesters chanted slogans urging China to democratize near one of the venues for the Olympic equestrian event, to be held in Hong Kong.

Tibet activists have stepped up their international campaign against Chinese rule in their homeland since demonstrations erupted in the Tibetan capital in March and Beijing responded with a military crackdown.

Those protests were some of the biggest against almost 50 years of Chinese rule. Many Tibetans insist they were an independent nation before Communist troops invaded in 1950, while Beijing says the Himalayan region has been part of its territory for centuries.

Associated Press writers Dikky Sinn in Beijing; Binaj Gurubacharya in Katmandu, Nepal; Min Lee in Hong Kong, Burhan Ozbilici in Ankara, Turkey; and Muneeza Naqvi in New Delhi contributed to this report.


Uyghur News
08-08-08, 12:01
Man sets himself alight in anti-China protest

By BURHAN OZBILICI – 50 minutes ago

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A man doused himself with gasoline and set himself alight during a protest Friday by ethnic Uighurs outside the Chinese Embassy in Turkey.

Other demonstrators jumped on the man and quickly extinguished the flames with a blanket, according to an Associated Press photographer who was at the scene. He was also sprayed with a fire extinguisher.

The man, identified by the local Uighur association as 35-year-old Mehmet Dursun Uygurturkoglu, was rushed to a hospital where he was being treated for second-degree burns to his head, neck and arms. A doctor at Ankara's Numune hospital said his injuries were not life-threatening.

The man was among several hundred Uighur demonstrators protesting human rights violations in China just before the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

The group was chanting anti-China slogans when Uygurturkoglu, his T-shirt doused with gasoline and his back on fire, rushed to the forefront, shouting: "Long live Turkistan!"

The Uighurs, a Turkic Muslim minority that has had tense relations with the Chinese, live mainly in the rugged and mineral-rich western region of Xinjiang, China.

Many Uighurs favor independence or greater autonomy for Xinjiang province, which takes up one-sixth of China's land mass and borders eight Central Asian countries. Uighurs are related to Turks, and Turkey is home to a Uighur community.

Hosted by Google
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Breaking news
08-08-08, 14:41
This is a breaking news in Uyghur history!

08-08-08, 22:53
All Turkish TV channels show this protest in news yesterday, and nobody of them used the word "Xinjiang" as they usually did, they said "demonstrator from Turkistan".

08-08-08, 23:59
Azerbaycanli dostum,
Thank for your support!!. One day we all will be free, both Jenubi Azerbaycan and Sherqi Turkistan!

11-08-08, 15:14
All Turkish TV channels show this protest in news yesterday, and nobody of them used the word "Xinjiang" as they usually did, they said "demonstrator from Turkistan".

The Turkish media has been doing it's geography homework.
My own protest is boycotting China's propaganda Olympics and letting friends, co-workers, people on other message boards, know why I'm not caught up in all the frenzy of the games.
It's kind of hard to explain who we are, to Americans.
Now that we're on the front pages of the newspaper, they are now somewhat familiar with us, in name, but not culturally.
My comment to the people I work with was "Yes.That was my Brother who set himself on fire."
Before that, I think they thought I was making the word Uyghur up, or something and they used to speculate on "who I was really".
(Middle Eastern? Mexican? "He looks sort of Asian....."