Beijing-Backed Drawing Contest In Turkey Backfires As Students Submit Depictions Of Xinjiang Abuses

Beijing-Backed Drawing Contest In Turkey Backfires As Students Submit Depictions Of Xinjiang Abuses

A drawing competition launched by the Chinese Embassy in Turkey to promote interest in China among students, and mark the 50th anniversary of ties between the two nations, appears to have backfired.

Andrew H. Sweet
  • Several submissions depicting state-backed repression policies in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) were posted online.
  • Students must submit their entries between May 3 and June 13, and winners travel to China, where they visit Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an.
  • Turkey is home to more than 50,000 of the world's nearly 12 million Uyghurs, who historically have viewed their fellow Turkic nation as a refuge and advocate for their religious and cultural rights.
  • On social media, critics of the competition have shared drawings, including one of Chinese President Xi Jinping surrounded by Uyghur skulls.
  • Another shows a man dressed in clothing made of the Chinese flag putting his hand over an Uyghur's mouth, expressing the idea that Uyghurs have no freedom of speech.
  • The Turkish Writers' Union recently issued a statement calling on the Turkish Ministry of Education to immediately cancel the "China in my Dreams" contest, calling it "unacceptable."

Read the original story here.

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