Chinese pressure has been effective in the life of Uyghur people for half a century. Questioning the order of fear and violence, and voicing freedoms usually result in death. Telephones are wiretapped, houses are watched. Use of media and communication devices are censored. Decision to pursue an honorable life requires acceptance of unlimited hardships in advance.
The Uyghur people welcomed the new millennium in the grip of repression and pressure. Like all peoples under pressure and occupation the Uyghur people too came under the security-minded spiral of violence of the Beijing government in the wake of the 11 September and pressure increased on Uyghurs living in East Turkistan and different parts of the world.
In East Turkistan, one of the countries with richest underground and surface resources, people are pushed to the degree of fatal destitution. China has strengthened its grip on East Turkistan because of its rich oil and natural gas reserves that are comparable to those of Saudi Arabia and Iran, gold, silver and coal resources, and this policy of pressure has made the life for Uyghur unbearable. The Chinese that are resettled in East Turkistan from thousands of kilometers away are now seen as the sole inheritors of local riches.
Like other peoples that gained their independence in various parts of the world in the post-Cold War era the people of East Turkistan, the heart of Turkistan, the fertile land of the Silk Road, wish to achieve their liberation.
The East Turkistan Symposium aims to draw attention to a region under occupation for two and a half centuries where even most basic rights of people are suspended and people are forced to immigrate to survive. It is bringing together a number of academics, thinkers, opinion leaders, civil society representatives and individuals and bodies that have owned the East Turkistani cause from different countries to discuss past, now and future of the region sacrificed to Realpolitik concerns, and work out a right and just solution to the problem.
The East Turkistan Symposium aims to help the understanding of the East Turkistan question that is not understood properly by the world public opinion due to Realpolitik, disinformation and distortions of international relations, to systematically report lawless practices the people of the region have been subject to until now, to include official and civilian, local and international actors in the solution, to create solution partners and to put the problem on the agenda of all conscientious people that are in favor of establishing rights and justice.
Via the Symposium of East Turkestan, it has been targeted to carry the international society to an influential position for the solution of the problem. Bringing the structural problems into the agenda are also among the goals of the symposium. For instance, China’s being one of the members of the UN Security Council and having the right to veto UN decisions prevents the UN taking fair decisions for East Turkestan.
The East Turkistan Symposium urges international bodies such as the United Nations, the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and states to take an active role in restoring rights of people of this region urgently and in putting a swift end to the ongoing unjust and repressive rule in East Turkistan.
We hope that the East Turkistan Symposium will contribute to liberation of all peoples that share the fate of East Turkistani people, and keep our hope to live in a future when justice has been established as a family of world peoples.