The Uighurs are a Muslim people who live in China’s western Xinjiang province—what used to be called Chinese Turkestan, just as what we now call Central Asia used to be called Russian Turkestan.
The Turks in Turkey once inhabited the same region, before they migrated into western Asia and conquered the Byzantine Empire, the Balkans and most of the Arab world.
Peter Lee reported on his China Matters web log how the Turkish government is trying to assume the leadership of the Turkish world and, as part of that, has issued Turkish passports for Uighur rebels. I think this comes under the heading of starting fights you are not prepared to finish.
I sympathize with the Uighur people who, like the Tibetans, are being engulfed by Chinese settlers, and with the people of the former Soviet republics of Central Asia who live under oppressive dictatorships.
In the same way, I sympathized with the brave Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956. But the United States was not willing to go to war with the Soviet Union on behalf of the Hungarians, and risk the devastation of North America, Russia and Europe, including Hungary. So it was irresponsible of Radio Free Europe to incite them to rise up, and I think Turkish policy (which I hope the US government is not encouraging) is irresponsible now.
Uighurs Edge Closer to Center of Turkish Diplomacy, Politics and Geopolitical Strategy by Peter Lee for China Matters.
Turkey’s “Passports for Uighurs” Scheme Continues Its Messy Unraveling by Peter Lee for China Matters.