East Turkestan independence movement

Not to be confused with East Turkestan Islamic Movement.
This flag (Kök Bayraq) has become a symbol of the East Turkestan independence movement.
This emblem is used alongside the flag above.

The East Turkestan independence movement (ETIM) is a broad term that refers to advocates of an independent, self-governing East Turkestan in the region now known as Xinjiang, an autonomous region in the People's Republic of China.


The name "East Turkestan" was created by the Russian Sinologist Nikita Bichurin to replace the term "Chinese Turkestan" in 1829.[1] "East Turkestan" was used traditionally to only refer to the Tarim Basin, and not Xinjiang as a whole, with Dzungaria being excluded from the area consisting of "East Turkestan".

Xinjiang before the Qing dynasty did not exist as one unit. It consisted of the two separate political entities of Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin (Eastern Turkestan).[2][3][4][5] There was the Zhunbu (Dzungar region) and Huibu (Muslim region)[6] Dzungharia or Ili was called Zhunbu 準部 (Dzungar region) Tianshan Beilu 天山北路 (Northern March), "Xinjiang" 新疆 (New Frontier),[7] Dzongarie, Djoongaria,[8] Soungaria,[9][9] or "Kalmykia" (La Kalmouquie in French).[10][11] It was formerly the area of the Zunghar Khanate 準噶爾汗國, the land of the Dzungar Oirat Mongols. The Tarim Basin was known as "Tianshan Nanlu 天山南路 (southern March), Huibu 回部 (Muslim region), Huijiang 回疆 (Muslim frontier), Chinese Turkestan, Kashgaria, Little Bukharia, East Turkestan", and the traditional Uyghur name for it was Altishahr (Uyghur: التى شهر, Алта-шаһар, ULY: Altä-shähär).[12] It was formerly the area of the Eastern Chagatai Khanate 東察合台汗國, land of the Uyghur people before being conquered by the Dzungars. The Chinese Repository said that "Neither the natives nor the Chinese appear to have any general name to designate the Mohammedan colonies. They are called Kashgar, Bokhára, Chinese Turkestan, &c., by foreigners, none of which seem to be very appropriate. They have also been called Jagatai, after a son of Genghis khan, to whom this country fell as his portion after his father's death, and be included all the eight Mohammedan cities, with some of the surrounding countries, in one kingdom. It is said to have remained in this family, with some interruptions, until conquered by the Eleuths of Soungaria in 1683."[9][9]

Between Jiayu Guan's west and Urumchi's East, an area of Xiniiang was also disginated as Tianshan Donglu 天山東路 (Eastern March).[13][14] The three routes that made up Xinjiang were - Tarim Basin (southern route), Dzungaria (northern route), and the Turfan Basin (eastern route with Turfan, Hami, and Urumqi).[15]

Historical background

Pre-modern times

The Tarim Basin of Xinjiang was ruled by China during the Han dynasty in 60 BC as the Protectorate of the Western Regions and the Tang dynasty in 640 AD as the Protectorate General to Pacify the West. The region was called Xiyu by the Chinese, which literally translates to "Western Regions". The Turfan Basin was ruled by the Chinese Kingdom of Gaochang.

Maps of the Chinese Han dynasty. On some maps the Protectorate of the Western Regions is shown in a lighter version of the color that the Han dynasty is represented in to signify its status as a protectorate.

Han dynasty in 1 AD. 
Russian map showing Xinjiang as a protectorate of the Han in pink color. 
Xinjiang as a protectorate of the Han dynasty in light orange color. 
Han dynasty 
Xinjiang as a protectorate of the Han dynasty in light orange color. 
Map showing how the territories of the Han dynasty and xiongnu overlapped at different time periods. 
Han dynasty. 
Han dynasty. 
Japanese map of Eastern Han dynasty. 
French map showing the Han dynasty and its protectorate in Xinjiang. 
Han dynasty in 1 AD. 
Cities of the protectorate. 

Maps of the Chinese Tang dynasty

The Tang dynasty with its protectorates shown in lighter color. 
Tang dynasty around 700 CE 
Tang dynasty in 742 CE 
Tang dynasty territory and its changes throughout history 

Islamicisation and Turkicisation of Xinjiang

Turkification of the Tarim Basin
Date9th and 10th centuries
LocationTarim Basin in Xinjiang
Result Turkic victory, complete Turkification of the Tarim Basin, extinction of Indo-European peoples in the Tarim Basin
Caucasian Indo-European Buddhist Tocharians and Eastern Iranian Sakas (Kingdom of Khotan) Mongoloid Turkic Buddhist Uyghurs (Kingdom of Qocho) Mongoloid Turkic Muslim Karluks (Kara-Khanid Khanate)
Commanders and leaders
Satok Bughra Khan
Ali Arslan
Yusuf Qadir Khan

The historical area of what is modern day Xinjiang consisted of the distinct areas of the Tarim Basin and Dzungaria, and was originally populated by Indo-European Tocharian and Iranic Saka peoples who practiced the Buddhist religion. The area was subjected to Turkification and Islamification at the hands of invading Turkic Muslims.

Buddhist Uyghur migration into the Tarim Basin

During the Han dynasty, the native Indo-European Tocharians and Sakas of Xinjiang came under a Chinese protectorate in 60 BC as part of the Protectorate of the Western Regions, with the Chinese protecting the Tocharian and Saka city states from the nomadic Xiongnu who were based in Mongolia, and during the Tang dynasty they once again became a protectorate of China when it was part of the Protectorate General to Pacify the West with China protecting the Tocharian and Saka city states against the Mongolia-based Turkic Khaganate and the Mongolia-based Turkic Uyghur Khaganate.

Tang China lost control of Xinjiang after it was forced to withdraw its garrisons during the An Lushan Rebellion. During the rebellion China received aid from the Uyghur Khaganate in crushing An Lushan's rebels, however, multiple provocations by the Uyghurs such as selling bad quality horses to China, practicing usury when lending to Chinese, and sheltering Uyghurs who committed murder resulted in a major deterioration in relations between China and the Uyghur Khaganate. Tang China then allied with the Yenisei Kirghiz and defeated and destroyed the Uyghur Khaganate in a war, triggering the collapse of the Uyghur Khaganate which caused Uyghurs to migrate from their original lands in Mongolia southwards into Xinjiang.

The discovery of the Tarim mummies has created a stir in the Turkic-speaking Uighur population of the region, who claim the area has always belonged to their culture, while it was not until the 10th century when the Uighurs are said by scholars to have moved to the region from Central Asia.[16] American Sinologist Victor H. Mair claims that "the earliest mummies in the Tarim Basin were exclusively Caucasoid, or Europoid" with "east Asian migrants arriving in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin around 3,000 years ago", while Mair also notes that it was not until 842 that the Uighur peoples settled in the area.[17]

Protected by the Taklamakan Desert from steppe nomads, elements of Tocharian culture survived until the 7th century, when the arrival of Turkic immigrants from the collapsing Uyghur Khaganate of modern-day Mongolia began to absorb the Tocharians to form the modern-day Uyghur ethnic group.[17]

Professor James A. Millward described the original Uyghurs as physically Mongoloid, giving as an example the images in Bezeklik at temple 9 of the Uyghur patrons, until they began to mix with the Tarim Basin's original eastern Iranian inhabitants.[18]

The modern Uyghurs are now a mixed hybrid of Mongoloid and Caucasian.[19][20][21]

Images of Buddhist and Manichean Uyghurs

Images of Mongoloid Buddhist and Manichean Turkic Uyghurs from the Bezeklik caves and Mogao grottoes. Buddhist murals at the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves were damaged by local Muslim population whose religion proscribed figurative images of sentient beings, the eyes and mouths in particular were often gouged out. Pieces of murals were also broken off for use as fertilizer by the locals.[22]

Uyghur Khagan 
Uyghur king from Turfan, from the murals at the Dunhuang Mogao Caves. 
Uyghur prince from the Bezeklik murals. 
Uyghur woman from the Bezeklik murals. 
Uyghur Princess. 
Uyghur Princesses from the Bezeklik murals. 
Uyghur Princes from the Bezeklik murals. 
Uyghur noble from the Bezeklik murals. 
Uyghur noble from the Bezeklik murals. 
Uyghur donor from the Bezeklik murals. 
Uyghur Manichaean Electae from Qocho. 
Uyghur Manichaean clergymen from Qocho. 
Art from Qocho. 
Manicheans from Qocho 
Images of Modern Uyghurs
Uyghur girl in Melikawat, Khotan 
Uyghur girl in Melikawat, Khotan 
Uyghur children in Khotan. 
Uyghur boy in a market in Khotan. 
Uyghur women in Khotan making carpets. 
Uyghur Meshrep musicians in Yarkand. 
Uyghur melon seller in Kashgar. 
Uyghur man. 
Uyghur barber in Kashgar. 

Turkic-Islamic Kara-Khanid conquest of Iranic Saka Buddhist Khotan

The Islamic attacks and conquest of the Buddhist cities east of Kashgar was started by the Turkic Karakhanid Satok Bughra Khan who in 966 converted to Islam and many tales emerged about the Karakhanid ruling family's war against the Buddhists, Satok Bughra Khan's nephew or grandson Ali Arslan was slain by the Buddhists during the war. Buddhism lost territory to Islam during the Karakhanid reign around the Kashgar area.[23] A long war ensued between Islamic Kashgar and Buddhist Khotan which eventually ended in the conquest of Khotan by Kashgar.[24]

Iranic Saka peoples originally inhabited Yarkand and Kashgar in ancient times. The Buddhist Iranic Saka Kingdom of Khotan was the only city-state that was not conquered yet by the Turkic Uyghur (Buddhist) and the Turkic Qarakhanid (Muslim) states and its ruling family used Indian names and the population were devout Buddhists. The Buddhist entitites of Dunhuang and Khotan had a tight-knit partnership, with intermarriage between Dunhuang and Khotan's rulers and Dunhuang's Mogao grottos and Buddhist temples being funded and sponsored by the Khotan royals, whose likenesses were drawn in the Mogao grottoes.[25] The rulers of Khotan were aware of the menace they faced since they arranged for the Mogao grottoes to paint a growing number of divine figures along with themselves. Halfway in the 10th century Khotan came under attack by the Qarakhanid ruler Musa, and in what proved to be a pivotal moment in the Turkification and Islamification of the Tarim Basin, the Karakhanid leader Yusuf Qadir Khan conquered Khotan around 1006.[26]

The Taẕkirah is a genre of literature written about Sufi Muslim saints in Altishahr. Written sometime in the period from 1700–1849, the Eastern Turkic language (modern Uyghur) Taẕkirah of the Four Sacrificed Imams provides an account of the Muslim Karakhanid war against the Khotanese Buddhists, containing a story about Imams, from Mada'in city (possibly in modern-day Iraq) came 4 Imams who travelled to help the Islamic conquest of Khotan, Yarkand, and Kashgar by Yusuf Qadir Khan, the Qarakhanid leader.[27] Accounts of the battles waged by the invading Muslims upon the indigenous Buddhists takes up most of the Taẕkirah with descriptions such as "blood flows like the Oxus", "heads litter the battlefield like stones" being used to describe the murderous battles over the years until the "infidels" were defeated and driven towards Khotan by Yusuf Qadir Khan and the four Imams, but the Imams were assassinated by the Buddhists prior to the last Muslim victory so Yusuf Qadir Khan assigned Khizr Baba, who was born in Khotan but whose mother originated from western Turkestan's Mawarannahr, to take care of the shrine of the 4 Imams at their tomb and after Yusuf Qadir Khan's conquest of new land in Altishahr towards the east, he adopted the title "King of the East and China".[27] Due to the Imams deaths in battle and burial in Khotan, Altishahr, despite their foreign origins, they are viewed as local saints by the current Muslim population in the region.[27]

Muslim works such as Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam contained anti-Buddhist rhetoric and polemic against Buddhist Khotan,[28] aimed at "dehumanizing" the Khotanese Buddhists, and the Muslims Kara-Khanids conquered Khotan just 26 years following the completion of Ḥudūd al-ʿĀlam.[28]

Muslims gouged the eyes of Buddhist murals along Silk Road caves and Kashgari recorded in his Turkic dictionary an anti-Buddhist poem/folk song.[29]

Satuq Bughra Khan and his son directed endeavors to proselytize Islam among the Turks and engage in military conquests.[30] The Islamic conquest of Khotan led to alarm in the east and Dunhuang's Cave 17, which contained Khotanese literary works, was closed shut possibly after its caretakers heard that Khotan's Buddhist buildings were razed by the Muslims, the Buddhist religion had suddenly ceased to exist in Khotan.[31]

In 1006, the Muslim Kara-Khanid ruler Yusuf Kadir (Qadir) Khan of Kashgar conquered Khotan, ending Khotan's existence as an independent state. The war was described as a Muslim Jihad (holy war) by the Japanese Professor Takao Moriyasu. The Karakhanid Turkic Muslim writer Mahmud al-Kashgari recorded a short Turkic language poem about the conquest:

English translation:

We came down on them like a flood,
We went out among their cities,
We tore down the idol-temples,
We shat on the Buddha's head![28][29][31][32][33][34]

Alternate English translation:

We came down on them like a flood
We went out upon their cities
We tore down the idol temples
We shit upon the idols' heads.[35]

In Turkic:

kälginläyü aqtïmïz
kändlär üzä čïqtïmïz
furxan ävin yïqtïmïz
burxan üzä sïčtïmïz[36]

Alternate Turkic transliteration:

kãlñizlãyũ aqtimiz
kãndlãr õzã čiqtimiz
furxan ãwin yiqtimiz
burxan ũzã sičtimiz[35]

German translation:

Wir strömten wie eine alles vor sich herschiebende Flut,
wir drangen in ihre Städte ein (eroberten sie),
wir zerstörten die buddhistischen Tempel,
wir koteten auf die Buddha-statuen.[36]

Idols of "infidels" were subjected to desecration by being defecated upon by Muslims when the "infidel" country was conquered by the Muslims, according to Muslim tradition.[36]

Maps of the Turkicisation of Xinjiang
Xinjiang's Tarim Basin and Turfan Basin with its native Indo-European inhabitants before Turkification. 
Invasion of Xinjiang's Tarim Basin and Turfan Basin by Muslim Turks and Buddhist Turks. 
Turkified Tarim Basin and Turfan Basin in Xinjiang. 

Islamic conquest of the Buddhist Uighurs

Islamification of the Tarim Basin
Date14th–16th centuries
LocationTarim Basin in Xinjiang
Result Chagatai Muslim victory, complete Islamicisation of all Turks in the Tarim Basin, extinction of Buddhism among Turks in the Tarim Basin
Turkic Muslim Chagatai Khanate Turkic Buddhist Uyghurs (Kingdom of Qocho and Qara Del)
Commanders and leaders
Khizr Khwaja

Buddhism survived in Uyghurstan (Turfan and Qocho). during the Ming dynasty.[37]

The Buddhist Uyghurs of the Kingdom of Qocho and Turfan were converted to Islam by conquest during a ghazat (holy war) at the hands of the Muslim Chagatai Khizr Khwaja.[38]

Kara Del was a Mongolian ruled and Uighur populated Buddhist Kingdom. The Muslim Chagatai Khan Mansur invaded and used the sword to make the population convert to Islam.[39]

After being converted to Islam, the descendants of the previously Buddhist Uyghurs in Turfan failed to retain memory of their ancestral legacy and falsely believed that the "infidel Kalmuks" (Dzungars) were the ones who built Buddhist monuments in their area.[40]

Maps of the Islamicisation of Xinjiang
Muslim Turks and Buddhist Turks. 
Ghazat (Islamic holy war) by Muslim Turks against Buddhist Turks. 
Muslim Turks and Buddhist Turks. 
Ghazat (Islamic holy war) by Muslim Turks against Buddhist Turks. 
All Turks in the Tarim Basin and Turfan Basin converted to Islam. 
Ethnogenesis of the modern Uyghur ethnic group. 

Legacy of Han and Tang Chinese rule in Xinjiang

Coins with both Chinese and Karoshthi inscriptions have been found in the southern Tarim Basin.[41]

It was the An Lushan Rebellion and not the defeat at Talas that ended the Tang Chinese presence in Central Asia and forced them to withdraw from Xinjiang- the significance of Talas was overblown, because the Arabs did not proceed any further after the battle.[42] Because the Arabs did not proceed to Xinjiang at all, the battle was of no importance strategically, it was An Lushan's rebellion which ended up forcing the Tang Chinese out of Central Asia.[43] Despite the conversion of some Karluk Turks after the Battle of Talas, the majority of Karluks did not convert to Islam until the mid 10th century under Sultan Satuq Bughra Khan when they established the Kara-Khanid Khanate.[44][45][46][47][48][49] This was long after the Tang dynasty was gone from Central Asia.

The military victories of the Tang in the western regions and Central Asia have been offered as explanations as to why western peoples referred to China by the name "House of Tang" (Tangjia) and another theory was suggested that China was called "Han" because of the Han dynasty military victories against peoples in the north, and the Turkic word for China, "Tamghaj" has been possibly derived from Tangjia instead of Tabgatch (Tuoba).[50]

In the Chu valley in Central Asia Tang dynasty era Chinese coins continued to be copied and minted after the Chinese left the area.[51]

An indelible impression was left on eastern Xinjiang's administration and culture in Turfan by the Chinese Tang rule which consisted of settlements, and military farms in addition to the spread of Chinese influence such as the sancai three colour glaze in Central Asia and Western Eurasia, in Xinjiang there was continued circulation of Chinese coins.[52]

Turkic Empires after the Tang gained prestige by connecting themselves with north Chinese states with the Qara-Khitay and Qara-Khanid khans using the title of "Chinese emperor", Khitay was used by the Qara-Khitay and Tabghach was used by the Qarakhanids.[53] The entry into the previously Indo-European Soghdian and Tokharian speaking Central Eurasia and Xinjiang of tribes of Turkic speaking origin and the started of Turkicisation originate in the 7th century with the disintegration of the Turkic Khaganate, resulting in Eurasia being populated by many peoples who consider themselves Turks..

Two different branches, the junior Bughra (bull camel) and the Arslan (lion) formed the Qarakhanid royal family. The title "Khan of China" (Tamghaj Khan) (تمغاج خان) was used by the Qarakhanid rulers.[54] The Qarakhanids were the ones who are responsible for the modern Uyghur population being Muslim and the Qarakhanids were converted when Satuq Bughra Khan converted to Islam after contacts with the Muslim Samanids.

Bughra Khan was overthrown by his nephew Satuq when Satuq converted to Islam, the Arslan Khans were also toppled and Balasaghun taken by Satuq, with the conversion of the Qarakhanid Turk population to Islam following Satuq's accession to power and the spread of Islam among the Qarakhanid Turks led to the conquest of Transoxiana and the Samanids by the Qarakhanids and the Qarakhanids were the people who bequeathed the Islamic religion to the modern Uyghurs while the modern Uyghurs adopted the modern name of their ethnic group from the Uyghur Qocho Kingdom and Uyghur Empire.[55]

The Turkic Qarakhanid and Uyghur Qocho Kingdoms were both states founded by invaders while the native populations of the region were Iranic and Tocharian peoples along with some Chinese in Qocho and Indians, who married and mixed with the Turkic invaders, and prominent Qarakhanid people such as Mahmud Kashghari hold a high position among modern Uyghurs.[56]

Kashghari viewed the least Persian mixed Turkic dialects as the "purest" and "the most elegant".[57]

Persian, Arab and other western Asian writers called China by the name "Tamghaj".[58]

The Qarakhanid ruler of Kashgar was called Tamghaj Khan, while the Khitan ruler was called the Khan of Chīn, some Khitans migrated into western areas like the Qarakhanid state even before the establishment of the Kara-Khitan state.[59]

During the Liao dynasty Han Chinese lived in Kedun, situated in present-day Mongolia.[60]

In 1124 the migration of the Khitan under Yelü Dashi included a big part of the Kedun population, which consisted of Han Chinese, Bohai, Jurchen, Mongol tribes, Khitan, in addition to the Xiao consort clan and the Yelü royal family on the march to establish the Qara-Khitan.[61]

The Khitan Qara-Khitai empire in Central Asia kept Chinese characteristics in their state since the Chinese characteristics appealed to the Muslim Central Asians and helped validate Qara Khita rule over them, despite the fact that Han Chinese were to be found among the population of the Qara Khitan because it was comparatively small so it is clear that the Chinese characteristics were not kept to appease them, the Mongols later moved more Han Chinese into Besh Baliq, Almaliq and Samarqand in Central Asia to work as aristans and farmers.[62]

The Qara Khitai used the "image of China" to legitimize their ruler to the Central Asian Muslims since China had a good reputation at the time among Central Asian Muslims before the Mongol invasions, it was viewed as extremely civilized, known for its unique script, its expert artisans were well known, justice and religious tolerance were among the virtues attributed to Chinese despite their idol worship and the Turk, Arab, Byzantium, Indian rulers, and the Chinese emperor were known as the world's "five great kings", the memory of Tang China was engraved into the Muslim perception so their continued to view China through the lens of the Tang dynasty and anachronisms appeared in Muslim writings due to this even after the end of the Tang, China was known as chīn (چين) in Persian and as ṣīn (صين) in Arabic while the Tang dynasty capital Changan was known as Ḥumdān (حمدان).[63]

Muslim Muslim writers like Marwazī and Mahmud Kashghārī had more up to date information about China in their writings, Kashgari viewed Kashgar as part of China. Ṣīn [i.e., China] is originally three fold; Upper, in the east which is called Tawjāch; middle which is Khitāy, lower which is Barkhān in the vicinity of Kashgar. But know Tawjāch is known as Maṣīn and Khitai as Ṣīn" China was called after the Toba rulers of the Northern Wei by the Turks, pronounced by them as Tamghāj, Tabghāj, Tafghāj or Tawjāch. India introduced the name Maha Chin (greater China) which caused the two different names for China in Persian as chīn and māchīn (چين ماچين) and Arabic ṣīn and māṣīn (صين ماصين), Southern China at Canton was known as Chin while Northern China's Changan was known as Machin, but the definition switched and the south was referred to as Machin and the north as Chin after the Tang dynasty, Tang China had controlled Kashgar since of the Tang's Anxi protectorate's "Four Garrisons" seats, Kashgar was among them, and this was what led writers like Kashghārī to place Kashgar within the definition of China, Ṣīn, whose emperor was titled as Tafghāj or Tamghāj, Yugur (yellow Uighurs or Western Yugur) and Khitai or Qitai were all classified as "China" by Marwazī while he wrote that Ṣīnwas bordered by placed SNQU and Maṣīn.[64] Machin, Mahachin, Chin, and Sin were all names of China.[65]

Muslim writers like Marwazī wrote that Transoxania was a former part of China, retaining the legacy of Tang Chinese rule over Transoxania in Muslim writings, In ancient times all the districts of Transoxania had belonged to the kingdom of China [Ṣīn], with the district of Samarqand as its centre. When Islam appeared and God delivered the said district to the Muslims, the Chinese migrated to their [original] centers, but there remained in Samarqand, as a vestige of them, the art of making paper of high quality. And when they migrated to Eastern parts their lands became disjoined and their provinces divided, and there was a king in China and a king in Qitai and a king in Yugur., Muslim writers viewed the Khitai, the Gansu Uighur Kingdom and Kashgar as all part of "China" culturally and geographically with the Muslim Central Asians retaining the legacy of Chinese rule in Central Asia by using titles such as "Khan of China" (تمغاج خان) (Tamghaj Khan or Tawgach) in Turkic and "the King of the East in China" (ملك المشرق (أو الشرق) والصين) (malik al-mashriq (or al-sharq) wa'l-ṣīn) in Arabic which were titles of the Muslim Qarakhanid rulers and their Qarluq ancestors.[66]

The title Malik al-Mashriq wa'l-Ṣīn was bestowed by the 'Abbāsid Caliph upon the Tamghaj Khan, the Samarqand Khaqan Yūsuf b. Ḥasan and after that coins and literature had the title Tamghaj Khan appear on them and were continued to be used by the Qarakhanids and the Transoxania-based Western Qarakhanids and some Eastern Qarakhanid monarchs, so therefore the Kara-Khitan (Western Liao)'s usage of Chinese things such as Chinese coins, the Chinese writing system, tablets, seals, Chinese art products like porcelein, mirrors, jade and other Chinese customs were designed to appearl to the local Central Asian Muslim population since the Muslims in the area regarded Central Asia as former Chinese territories and viewed links with China as prestigious and Western Liao's rule over Muslim Central Asia caused the view that Central Asia was a Chinese territory to reinforce upon the Muslims; "Turkestan" and Chīn (China) were identified with each other by Fakhr al-Dīn Mubārak Shāh with China being identified as the country where the cities of Balāsāghūn and Kashghar were located.[67]

The Liao Chinese traditions and the Qara Khitai's clinging helped the Qara Khitai avoid Islamization and conversion to Islam, the Qara Khitai used Chinese and Inner Asian features in their administrative system.[67]

Muslim writers wrote that "Tamghājī silver coins" (sawmhā-yi ṭamghājī) were present in Balkh while tafghājī was used by the writer Ḥabībī, the Qarakhānid leader Böri Tigin (Ibrāhīm Tamghāj Khān) was possibly the one who minted the coins.[68]

The relationship to China was used by the Qara-Khanids to enhace their standing since Central Asian Muslims associated prestige and grandeur with China so the Arabic title "the king of the East and China" (malek al-mašreq wa'l-Ṣin) and the Turkic title "Khan of China" Ṭamḡāj Khan was extensively employed by Khans of the Qara-khanids.[69]

Although in modern Urdu Chin means China, Chin referred to Central Asia in Muhammad Iqbal's time, which is why Iqbal wrote that "Chin is ours" (referring to the Muslims) in his song Tarana-e-Milli.[lower-alpha 1]

Aladdin, an Arabic Islamic story which is set in China, may have been referring to Central Asia.[71]

In the Persian epic Shahnameh the Chin and Turkestan are regarded as the eame, the Khan of Turkestan is called the Khan of Chin.[72]

The Tang Chinese reign over Qocho and Turfan and the Buddhist religion left a lasting legacy upon the Buddhist Uyghur Kingdom of Qocho with the Tang presented names remaining on the more than 50 Buddhist temples with Emperor Tang Taizong's edicts stored in the "Imperial Writings Tower " and Chinese dictionaries like Jingyun, Yuian, Tang yun, and da zang jing (Buddhist scriptures) stored inside the Buddhist temples and Persian monks also maintained a Manichaean temple in the Kingdom., the Persian Hudud al-'Alam uses the name "Chinese town" to called Qocho, the capital of the Uyghur kingdom.[73]

The Turfan Buddhist Uighurs of the Kingdom of Qocho continued to produce the Chinese Qieyun rime dictionary and developed their own pronunciations of Chinese characters, left over from the Tang influence over the area.[74]

The modern Uyghur linguist Abdurishid Yakup pointed out that the Turfan Uyghur Buddhists studied the Chinese language and used Chines books like Qianziwen (the thousand character classic) and Qieyun *(a rime dictionary) and it was written that "In Qocho city were more than fifty monasteries, all titles of which are granted by the emperors of the Tang dynasty, which keep many Buddhist exts as Tripitaka, Tangyun, Yupuan, Jingyin etc." [75]

In Central Asia the Uighurs viewed the Chinese script as "very prestigious" so when they developed the Old Uyghur alphabet, based on the Syriac script, they deliberately switched it to vertical like Chinese writing from its original horizontal position in Syriac.[76]

Turkic ultra-nationalist revisionism

Some Uyghur ultra-nationalist revisionists, worried at the prospect that they are descendants of migrants into Xinjiang and could be seen as invaders and not the indigenous inhabitants, have sought to revise history like Turghun Almas in his book Uyghurlar, claiming that Turkic Uyghurs were always natives of Xinjiang, claiming that the Tocharian Tarim mummies were Uyghurs, claiming Uyghurs invented gunpowder, paper, compass, printing, and that Uyghur civilization is 6,000 years old and is the origin of all world civilization.[77][78]

The claims of these "Uyghur nationalist historians", which the majority of Uyghurs believe in, are not backed up by actual evidence.[79][80] The belief that they were native to the Tarim Basin is held by all Uyghurs.[81]

Qurban Wäli is another ultra-nationalist Uyghur who engaged in historical revisionism and claimed Uyghur civilization is 6,000 years old and native to Xinjiang.[82]

The Chinese government pointed out that it was in the 9th century when Uyghurs migrated into Xinjiang,[83][84] but since many Uyghurs believe in the opposite of whatever the Chinese government says, they eagerly believe books written by Uyghur authors which glorify their past and assume what authors like Almas write is automatically true.[85]

Historians say that it was in the 9th century when Uyghurs moved into Xinjiang.[86][87]

Zunghar Khanate and Qing dynasty

Prior to the 20th century, the cities of present-day Xinjiang, hosting Mongolic ethnicities like Oirats, Turkic ethnicities such as Uyghurs, Kyrgyz, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, and Iranic Tājiks, held little unified nationalistic identity. Identity in the region was heavily "oasis-based" identity focused on the city, town and village level. Cross-border contact from Russia, Central Asia, India and China was significant in shaping each oasis' identity and cultural practices.[88] Under Qing Dynasty and Republic of China rule, a largely Uyghur, but also multi-ethnic Turkic, based identity began to coalesce.

Xinjiang consists of two main geographically, historically, and ethnically distinct regions with different historical names, Dzungaria north of the Tianshan Mountains and the Tarim Basin south of the Tianshan Mountains, before Qing China unified them into one political entity called Xinjiang province in 1884. At the time of the Qing conquest in 1759, Dzungaria was inhabited by steppe dwelling, nomadic Tibetan Buddhist Oirat Mongol Dzungar people, while the Tarim Basin was inhabited by sedentary, oasis dwelling, Turkic speaking Muslim farmers, now known as the Uyghur people. They were governed separately until 1884. The native Uyghur name for the Tarim Basin is Altishahr.

After perpetrating wholesale massacres and completing the Zunghar Genocide on the native Dzungar Oirat Mongol (Zunghar) population after conquering the Zunghar Khanate, in 1759, the Qing finally consolidated their authority by settling Han Chinese, Hui, and Uyghur emigrants the Dzungar (Zunghar) land in Dzungaria, together with a Manchu Qing garrison of Bannermen. The Han, Hui, and Uyghurs worked as farmers on state farms in the region to supply the Manchu garrison with food. The Qing put the whole region under the rule of a General of Ili (Chinese: 伊犁将军, Yili Jiangjün), headquartered at the fort of Huiyuan (the so-called "Manchu Kuldja", or Yili), 30 km west of Ghulja (Yining). The Qing dynasty Qianlong Emperor conquered the Jungharian (Dzungarian) plateau and the Tarim Basin, bringing the two separate regions, respectively north and south of the Tianshan mountains, under his rule as Xinjiang.[89] The south was inhabited by Turkic Muslims (Uyghurs) and the north by Junghar Mongols (Dzungars).[90] The Dzungars were also called "Eleuths" or "Kalmyks".

The Qing dynasty was well aware of the differences between the former Buddhist Mongol area to the north of the Tianshan and Turkic Muslim south of the Tianshan, and ruled them in separate administrative units at first.[91] However, Qing people began to think of both areas as part of one distinct region called Xinjiang .[92] The very concept of Xinjiang as one distinct geographic identity was created by the Qing and it was originally not the native inhabitants who viewed it that way, but rather it was the Chinese who held that point of view.[93] During the Qing rule, no sense of "regional identity" was held by ordinary Xinjiang people, rather, Xinjiang's distinct identity was given to the region by the Qing, since it had both its distinct geography, history and culture, but at the same time was created by Chinese, was multiethnic, settled by Han and Hui, and separated from Central Asia for over a century and a half.[94]

In the late 19th century, it was still being proposed by some people that two separate parts be created out of Xinjiang, the area north of the Tianshan and the area south of the Tianshan, while it was being argued over whether to turn Xinjiang into a province.[95]

The Turkic Muslim sedentary people of the Tarim Basin were originally ruled by the Chagatai Khanate while the nomadic Buddhist Oirat Mongol in Dzungaria ruled over the Dzungar Khanate. The Naqshbandi Sufi Khojas, descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, had replaced the Chagatayid Khans as the ruling authority of the Tarim Basin in the early 17th century. There was a struggle between two factions of Khojas, the Afaqi (White Mountain) faction and the Ishaqi (Black Mountain) faction. The Ishaqi defeated the Afaqi, which resulted in the Afaqi Khoja inviting the 5th Dalai Lama, the leader of the Tibetan Buddhists, to intervene on his behalf in 1677. The 5th Dalai Lama then called upon his Dzungar Buddhist followers in the Zunghar Khanate to act on this invitation. The Dzungar Khanate then conquered the Tarim Basin in 1680, setting up the Afaqi Khoja as their puppet ruler.

Khoja Afaq asked the 5th Dalai Lama when he fled to Lhasa to help his Afaqi faction take control of the Tarim Basin (Kashgaria).[96] The Dzungar leader Galdan was then asked by the Dalai Lama to restore Khoja Afaq as ruler of Kashgararia.[97] Khoja Afaq collaborated with Galdan's Dzungars when the Dzungars conquered the Tarim Basin from 1678–1680 and set up the Afaqi Khojas as puppet client rulers.[98][99][100] The Dalai Lama blessed Galdan's conquest of the Tarim Basin and Turfan Basin.[101]

67,000 patman (each patman is 4 piculs and 5 pecks) of grain 48,000 silver ounces were forced to be paid yearly by Kashgar to the Dzungars and cash was also paid by the rest of the cities to the Dzungars. Trade, milling, and distilling taxes, corvée labor,saffron, cotton, and grain were also extracted by the Dzungars from the Tarim Basin. Every harvest season, women and food had to be provided to Dzungars when they came to extract the taxes from them.[102]

When the Dzungars levied the traditional nomadic Alban poll tax upon the Muslims of Altishahr, the Muslims viewed it as the payment of jizyah (a tax traditionally taken from non-Muslims by Muslim conquerors).[103]

Zunghar genocide and resettlement of Dzungaria

Main article: Zunghar genocide

The Turkic Muslims of the Turfan and Kumul Oases then submitted to the Qing dynasty of China, and asked China to free them from the Dzungars. The Qing accepted the rulers of Turfan and Kumul as Qing vassals. The Qing dynasty waged war against the Dzungars for decades until finally defeating them and then Qing Manchu Bannermen carried out the Zunghar genocide, nearly wiping them from existence and depopulating Dzungaria. The Qing then freed the Afaqi Khoja leader Burhan-ud-din and his brother Khoja Jihan from their imprisonment by the Dzungars, and appointed them to rule as Qing vassals over the Tarim Basin. The Khoja brothers decided to renege on this deal and declare themselves as independent leaders of the Tarim Basin. The Qing and the Turfan leader Emin Khoja crushed their revolt and China then took full control of both Dzungaria and the Tarim Basin by 1759.

Anti-Zunghar Uyghur rebels from the Turfan and Hami oases had submitted to Qing rule as vassals and requested Qing help for overthrowing Zunghar rule. Uyghur leaders like Emin Khoja were granted titles within the Qing nobility, and these Uyghurs helped supply the Qing military forces during the anti-Zunghar campaign.[104] The Qing employed Khoja Emin in its campaign against the Zunghars and used him as an intermediary with Muslims from the Tarim Basin to inform them that the Qing were only aiming to kill Oirats (Zunghars) and that they would leave the Muslims alone, and also to convince them to kill the Oirats (Zunghars) themselves and side with the Qing since the Qing noted the Muslims' resentment of their former experience under Zunghar rule at the hands of Tsewang Araptan.[105]

The Dzungar (or Zunghar), Oirat Mongols who lived in an area that stretched from the west end of the Great Wall of China to present-day eastern Kazakhstan and from present-day northern Kyrgyzstan to southern Siberia (most of which is located in present-day Xinjiang), were the last nomadic empire to threaten China, which they did from the early 17th century through the middle of the 18th century.[lower-alpha 2] After a series of inconclusive military conflicts that started in the 1680s, the Dzungars were subjugated by the Manchu-led Qing dynasty (1644–1911) in the late 1750s. Clarke argued that the Qing campaign in 1757–58 "amounted to the complete destruction of not only the Zunghar state but of the Zunghars as a people."[106] After the Qianlong Emperor led Qing forces to victory over the Zunghar Oirat (Western) Mongols in 1755, he originally was going to split the Zunghar Empire into four tribes headed by four Khans, the Khoit tribe was to have the Zunghar leader Amursana as its Khan. Amursana rejected the Qing arrangement and rebelled since he wanted to be leader of a united Zunghar nation. Qianlong then issued his orders for the genocide and eradication of the entire Zunghar nation and name, Qing Manchu Bannermen and Khalkha (Eastern) Mongols enslaved Zunghar women and children while slaying the other Zunghars.[107]

The Qianlong Emperor issued direct orders for his commanders to "massacre" the Zunghars and "show no mercy", rewards were given to those who carried out the extermination and orders were given for young men to be slaughtered while women were taken as spoils. The Qing extirpated Zunghar identity from the remaining enslaved Zunghar women and children.[108] Orders were given to "completely exterminate the Zunghar tribes, and this successful genocide by the Qing left Zungharia mostly unpopulated and vacant.[109] Qianlong ordered his men to- "Show no mercy at all to these rebels. Only the old and weak should be saved. Our previous campaigns were too lenient."[110] The Qianlong Emperor did not see any conflict between performing genocide on the Zunghars while upholding the peaceful principles of Confucianism, supporting his position by portraying the Zunghars as barbarian and subhuman. Qianlong proclaimed that "To sweep away barbarians is the way to bring stability to the interior.", that the Zunghars "turned their back on civilization.", and that "Heaven supported the emperor." in the destruction of the Zunghars.[111] According to the "Encyclopedia of genocide and crimes against humanity, Volume 3", per the United Nations Genocide Convention Article II, Qianlong's actions against the Zunghars constitute genocide, as he massacred the vast majority of the Zunghar population and enslaved or banished the remainder, and had "Zunghar culture" extirpated and destroyed.[112] Qianlong's campaign constituted the "eighteenth-century genocide par excellence."[113]

The Qianlong Emperor moved the remaining Zunghar people to China and ordered the generals to kill all the men in Barkol or Suzhou, and divided their wives and children to Qing soldiers.[114][115] In an account of the war, Qing scholar Wei Yuan, wrote that about 40% of the Zunghar households were killed by smallpox, 20% fled to Russia or the Kazakh Khanate, and 30% were killed by the army, leaving no yurts in an area of several thousands of li except those of the surrendered.[116][117] Clarke wrote 80%, or between 480,000 and 600,000 people, were killed between 1755 and 1758 in what "amounted to the complete destruction of not only the Zunghar state but of the Zunghars as a people."[116][106] 80% of the Zunghars died in the genocide.[118][106][119] The Zunghar genocide was completed by a combination of a smallpox epidemic and the direct slaughter of Zunghars by Qing forces made out of Manchu Bannermen and (Khalkha) Mongols.[120]

It was not until generations later that Dzungaria rebounded from the destruction and near liquidation of the Zunghars after the mass slayings of nearly a million Zunghars.[121] Historian Peter Perdue has shown that the decimation of the Dzungars was the result of an explicit policy of extermination launched by Qianlong,[116] Perdue attributed the decimation of the Dzungars to a "deliberate use of massacre" and has described it as an "ethnic genocide".[122] Although this "deliberate use of massacre" has been largely ignored by modern scholars,[116] Dr. Mark Levene, a historian whose recent research interests focus on genocide,[123] has stated that the extermination of the Dzungars was "arguably the eighteenth century genocide par excellence."[124]

The Qing identified their state as "China" (Zhongguo), and referred to it as "Dulimbai Gurun" in Manchu. The Qing equated the lands of the Qing state (including present day Manchuria, Dzungaria in Xinjiang, Mongolia, and other areas as "China" in both the Chinese and Manchu languages), defining China as a multi ethnic state. The Qianlong Emperor explicitly commemorated the Qing conquest of the Zunghars as having added new territory in Xinjiang to "China", defining China as a multi ethnic state, rejecting the idea that China only meant Han areas in "China proper", meaning that according to the Qing, both Han and non-Han peoples were part of "China", which included Xinjiang which the Qing conquered from the Zunghars.[125] After the Qing were done conquering Dzungaria in 1759, they proclaimed that the new land which formerly belonged to the Zunghars, was now absorbed into "China" (Dulimbai Gurun) in a Manchu language memorial.[126][127][128] The Qing expounded on their ideology that they were bringing together the "outer" non-Han Chinese like the Inner Mongols, Eastern Mongols, Oirat Mongols, and Tibetans together with the "inner" Han Chinese, into "one family" united in the Qing state, showing that the diverse subjects of the Qing were all part of one family, the Qing used the phrase "Zhong Wai Yi Jia" 中外一家 or "Nei Wai Yi Jia" 內外一家 ("interior and exterior as one family"), to convey this idea of "unification" of the different peoples.[129] Xinjiang people were not allowed to be called foreigners (yi) under the Qing.[130]

The Qianlong Emperor rejected earlier ideas that only Han could be subjects of China and only Han land could be considered as part of China, instead he redefined China as multiethnic, saying in 1755 that "There exists a view of China (zhongxia), according to which non-Han people cannot become China's subjects and their land cannot be integrated into the territory of China. This does not represent our dynasty's understanding of China, but is instead that of the earlier Han, Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties."[131] The Manchu Qianlong Emperor rejected the views of Han officials who said Xinjiang was not part of China and that he should not conquer it, putting forth the view that China was multiethnic and did not just refer to Han.[132] Han migration to Xinjiang was permitted by the Manchu Qianlong Emperor, who also gave Chinese names to cities to replace their Mongol names, instituting civil service exams in the area, and implementing the county and prefecture Chinese style administrative system, and promoting Han migration to Xinjiang to solidify Qing control was supported by numerous Manchu officials under Qianlong.[133] A proposal was written in The Imperial Gazetteer of the Western Regions (Xiyu tuzhi) to use state-funded schools to promote Confucianism among Muslims in Xinjiang by Fuheng and his team of Manchu officials and the Qianlong Emperor.[134] Confucian names were given to towns and cities in Xinjiang by the Qianlong Emperor, like "Dihua" for Urumqi in 1760 and Changji, Fengqing, Fukang, Huifu, and Suilai for other cities in Xinjiang, Qianlong also implemented Chinese style prefectures, departments, and counties in a portion of the region.[135]

The Qing Qianlong Emperor compared his achievements with that of the Han and Tang ventures into Central Asia.[136] Qianlong's conquest of Xinjiang was driven by his mindfulness of the examples set by the Han and Tang[137] Qing scholars who wrote the official Imperial Qing gazetteer for Xinjiang made frequent references to the Han and Tang era names of the region.[138] The Qing conqueror of Xinjiang, Zhao Hui, is ranked for his achievements with the Tang dynasty General Gao Xianzhi and the Han dynasty Generals Ban Chao and Li Guangli.[139] Both aspects pf the Han and Tang models for ruling Xinjiang were adopted by the Qing and the Qing system also superficially resembled that of nomadic powers like the Qara Khitay, but in reality the Qing system was different from that of the nomads, both in terms of territory conquered geographically and their centralized administrative system, resembling a western stye (European and Russian) system of rule.[140] The Qing portrayed their conquest of Xinjiang in officials works as a continuation and restoration of the Han and Tang accomplishments in the region, mentioning the previous achievements of those dynasties.[141] The Qing justified their conquest by claiming that the Han and Tang era borders were being restored,[142] and identifying the Han and Tang's grandeur and authority with the Qing.[143] Many Manchu and Mongol Qing writers who wrote about Xinjiang did so in the Chinese language, from a culturally Chinese point of view.[144] Han and Tang era stories about Xinjiang were recounted and ancient Chinese places names were reused and circulated.[145] Han and Tang era records and accounts of Xinjiang were the only writings on the region available to Qing era Chinese in the 18th century and needed to be replaced with updated accounts by the literati.[144]

The Qing "final solution" of genocide to solve the problem of the Zunghar Mongols, made the Qing sponsored settlement of millions of Han Chinese, Hui, Turkestani Oasis people (Uyghurs) and Manchu Bannermen in Dzungaria possible, since the land was now devoid of Zunghars.[116][146] The Dzungarian basin, which used to be inhabited by (Zunghar) Mongols, is currently inhabited by Kazakhs.[147] In northern Xinjiang, the Qing brought in Han, Hui, Uyghur, Xibe, and Kazakh colonists after they exterminated the Zunghar Oirat Mongols in the region, with one third of Xinjiang's total population consisting of Hui and Han in the northern are, while around two thirds were Uyghurs in southern Xinjiang's Tarim Basin.[148] In Dzungaria, the Qing established new cities like Urumqi and Yining.[149] The Qing were the ones who unified Xinjiang and changed its demographic situation.[150]

The depopulation of northern Xinjiang after the Buddhist Öölöd Mongols (Zunghars) were slaughtered, led to the Qing settling Manchu, Sibo (Xibe), Daurs, Solons, Han Chinese, Hui Muslims, and Turkic Muslim Taranchis in the north, with Han Chinese and Hui migrants making up the greatest number of settlers. Since it was the crushing of the Buddhist Öölöd (Dzungars) by the Qing which led to promotion of Islam and the empowerment of the Muslim Begs in southern Xinjiang, and migration of Muslim Taranchis to northern Xinjiang, it was proposed by Henry Schwarz that "the Qing victory was, in a certain sense, a victory for Islam".[151] Xinjiang as a unified, defined geographic identity was created and developed by the Qing. It was the Qing who led to Turkic Muslim power in the region increasing since the Mongol power was crushed by the Qing while Turkic Muslim culture and identity was tolerated or even promoted by the Qing.[152]

The Qing gave the name Xinjiang to Dzungaria after conquering it and wiping out the Dzungars, reshaping it from a steppe grassland into farmland cultivated by Han Chinese farmers, 1 million mu (17,000 acres) were turned from grassland to farmland from 1760–1820 by the new colonies.[153]

Settlement in Dzungaria

Main article: Migration to Xinjiang

After Qing dynasty defeated the Dzunghars Oirat Mongols and exterminated them from their native land of Dzungaria in the Zunghar Genocide, the Qing settled Han, Hui, Manchus, Xibe, and Taranchis (Uyghurs) from the Tarim Basin, into Dzungharia. Han Chinese criminals and political exiles were exiled to Dzungaria, such as Lin Zexu. Chinese Hui Muslims and Salar Muslims belonging to banned Sufi orders like the Jahriyya were also exiled to Dzhungaria as well. In the aftermath of the crushing of the 1781 Jahriyya rebellion, Jahriyya adherents were exiled.

The Qing enacted different policies for different areas of Xinjiang. Han and Hui migrants were urged by the Qing government to settle in Dzungaria in northern Xinjiang, while they were not allowed in southern Xinjiang's Tarim Basin oases with the exception of Han and Hui merchants.[154] In areas where more Han Chinese settled like in Dzungaria, the Qing used a Chinese style administrative system.[155]

The Manchu Qing ordered the settlement of thousands of Han Chinese peasants in Xinijiang after 1760, the peasants originally came from Gansu and were given animals, seeds, and tools as they were being settled in the area, for the purpose of making China's rule in the region permanent and a fait accompli.[156]

Taranchi was the name for Turki (Uyghur) agriculturalists who were resettled in Dzhungaria from the Tarim Basin oases ("East Turkestani cities") by the Qing dynasty, along with Manchus, Xibo (Xibe), Solons, Han and other ethnic groups in the aftermath of the destruction of the Dzhunghars.[157][158][159][160][161][162][163][164] Kulja (Ghulja) was a key area subjected to the Qing settlement of these different ethnic groups into military colonies.[165] The Manchu garrisons were supplied and supported with grain cultivated by the Han soldiers and East Turkestani (Uyghurs) who were resettled in agricultural colonies in Zungharia.[12] The Manchu Qing policy of settling Chinese colonists and Taranchis from the Tarim Basin on the former Kalmucks (Dzungar) land was described as having the land "swarmed" with the settlers.[166][167] The amount of Uyghurs moved by the Qing from Altä-shähär (Tarim Basin) to depopulated Zunghar land in Ili numbered around 10,000 families.[168][169] The amount of Uyghurs moved by the Qing into Jungharia (Dzungaria) at this time has been described as "large".[170] The Qing settled in Dzungaria even more Turki-Taranchi (Uyghurs) numbering around 12,000 families originating from Kashgar in the aftermath of the Jahangir Khoja invasion in the 1820s.[171] Standard Uyghur is based on the Taranchi dialect, which was chosen by the Chinese government for this role.[172] Salar migrants from Amdo (Qinghai) came to settle the region as religious exiles, migrants, and as soldiers enlisted in the Chinese army to fight in Ili, often following the Hui.[173]

After a revolt by the Xibe in Qiqihar in 1764, the Qianlong Emperor ordered an 800-man military escort to transfer 18,000 Xibe to the Ili valley of Dzungaria in Xinjiang.[174][175] In Ili, the Xinjiang Xibe built Buddhist monasteries and cultivated vegetables, tobacco, and poppies.[175] One punishment for Bannermen for their misdeeds involved them being exiled to Xinjiang.[175]

In 1765, 300,000 ch'ing of land in Xinjiang were turned into military colonies, as Chinese settlement expanded to keep up with China's population growth.[176]

The Qing resorted to incentives like issuing a subsidy which was paid to Han who were willing to migrate to northwest to Xinjiang, in a 1776 edict.[177][178] There were very little Uyghurs in Urumqi during the Qing dynasty, Urumqi was mostly Han and Hui, and Han and Hui settlers were concentrated in Northern Xinjiang (Beilu aka Dzungaria). Around 155,000 Han and Hui lived in Xinjiang, mostly in Dzungaria around 1803, and around 320,000 Uyghurs, living mostly in Southern Xinjiang (the Tarim Basin), as Han and Hui were allowed to settle in Dzungaria but forbidden to settle in the Tarim, while the small amount of Uyghurs living in Dzungaria and Urumqi was insignificant.[179][180][181] Hans were around one third of Xinjiang's population at 1800, during the time of the Qing Dynasty.[182] Spirits (alcohol) were introduced during the settlement of northern Xinjiang by Han Chinese flooding into the area.[183] The Qing made a special case in allowing northern Xinjiang to be settled by Han, since they usually did not allow frontier regions to be settled by Han migrants. This policy led to 200,000 Han and Hui settlers in northern Xinjiang when the 18th century came to a close, in addition to military colonies settled by Han called Bingtun.[184]

Uyghur separatist activist Rebiya Kadeer claimed Urumqi is "Uyghur land".[185] The name Urumqi came from the Dzungar Oirat language. Professor of Chinese and Central Asian History at Georgetown University, James A. Millward wrote that foreigners often mistakenly think that Urumqi was originally a Uyghur city and that the Chinese destroyed its Uyghur character and culture, however, Urumqi was founded as a Chinese city by Han and Hui (Tungans), and it is the Uyghurs who are new to the city.[186]

While a few people try to give a misportrayal of the historical Qing situation in light of the contemporary situation in Xinjiang with Han migration, and claim that the Qing settlements and state farms were an anti-Uyghur plot to replace them in their land, Professor James A. Millward pointed out that the Qing agricultural colonies in reality had nothing to do with Uyghur and their land, since the Qing banned settlement of Han in the Uyghur Tarim Basin and in fact directed the Han settlers instead to settle in the non-Uyghur Dzungaria and the new city of Urumqi, so that the state farms which were settled with 155,000 Han Chinese from 1760–1830 were all in Dzungaria and Urumqi, where there was only an insignificant amount of Uyghurs, instead of the Tarim Basin oases.[26]

Conversion of Xinjiang into a province and effect on Uyghur migration

The two separate regions, Dzungaria, known as Zhunbu 準部 (Dzungar region) or Tianshan Beilu 天山北路 (Northern March),[6][187] and the Tarim Basin, which had been known as Altishahr, Huibu (Muslim region), Huijiang (Muslim-land) or "Tianshan Nanlu 天山南路 (southern March),[12][188] were combined into a single province called Xinjiang by in 1884.[189] Before this, there was never one administrative unit in which North Xinjiang (Zhunbu) and Southern Xinjiang (Huibu) were integrated together.[190]

A lot of the Han Chinese and Chinese Hui Muslim population who had previously settled northern Xinjiang (Dzungaria) after the Qing genocide of the Dzungars, had died in the Dungan revolt (1862–77). As a result, new Uyghur colonists from Southern Xinjiang (the Tarim Basin) proceeded to settle in the newly empty lands and spread across all of Xinjiang.

After Xinjiang was converted into a province by the Qing, the provincialisation and reconstruction programs initiated by the Qing resulted in the Chinese government helping Uyghurs migrate from southern Xinjiang to other areas of the province, like the area between Qitai and the capital, which was formerly nearly completely inhabited by Han Chinese, and other areas like Urumqi, Tacheng (Tabarghatai), Yili, Jinghe, Kur Kara Usu, Ruoqiang, Lop Nor, and the Tarim River's lower reaches.[191] It was during Qing times that Uyghurs were settled throughout all of Xinjiang, from their original home cities in the western Tarim Basin. The Qing policies after they created Xinjiang by uniting Zungharia and Altishahr (Tarim Basin) led Uyghurs to believe that the all of Xinjiang province was their homeland, since the annihilation of the Zunghars (Dzungars) by the Qing, populating the Ili valley with Uyghurs from the Tarim Basin, creating one political unit with a single name (Xinjiang) out of the previously separate Zungharia and the Tarim Basin, the war from 1864–1878 which led to the killing of much of the original Han Chinese and Chinese Hui Muslims in Xinjiang, led to areas in Xinjiang with previously had insignificant amounts of Uyghurs, like the southeast, east, and north, to then become settled by Uyghurs who spread through all of Xinjiang from their original home in the southwest area. There was a major and fast growth of the Uyghur population, while the original population of Han Chinese and Hui Muslims from before the war of 155,000 dropped, to the much lower population of 33,114 Tungans (Hui) and 66,000 Han.[192]

A regionalist style nationalism was fostered by the Han Chinese officials who came to rule Xinjiang after its conversion into a province by the Qing, it was from this ideology that the later East Turkestani nationalists appropriated their sense of nationalism centered on Xinjiang as a clearly defined geographic territory.[150]

Kalmyk Oirats return to Dzungaria

The Oirat Mongol Kalmyk Khanate was founded in the 17th century with Tibetan Buddhism as its main religion, following the earlier migration of the Oirats from Zungharia through Central Asia to the steppe around the mouth of the Volga River. During the course of the 18th century, they were absorbed by the Russian Empire, which was then expanding to the south and east. The Russian Orthodox church pressured many Kalmyks to adopt Orthodoxy. In the winter of 1770–1771, about 300,000 Kalmyks set out to return to China. Their goal was to retake control of Zungharia from the Qing dynasty of China.[193] Along the way many were attacked and killed by Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, their historical enemies based on intertribal competition for land, and many more died of starvation and disease. After several grueling months of travel, only one-third of the original group reached Zungharia and had no choice but to surrender to the Qing upon arrival.[194] These Kalmyks became known as Oirat Torghut Mongols. After settling in Qing territory, the Torghuts were coerced by the Qing into giving up their nomadic lifestyle and to taking up sedentary agriculture instead as part of a deliberate policy by the Qing to enfeeble them. They proved to be incompetent farmers and they became destitute, selling their children into slavery, engaging in prostitution, and stealing, according to the Manchu Qi-yi-shi.[195][196] Child slaves were in demand on the Central Asian slave market, and Torghut children were sold into this slave trade.[197]

Afaqi Khoja revolts

Main article: Afaqi Khoja revolts

The Afaqi Khojas living in the Kokand Khanate, descended from Khoja Burhanuddin, tried invading Kashgar and conquering Altishahr from the rule of the Qing dynasty during the Afaqi Khoja revolts.

Hui merchants fought for the Qing in Kashgar in 1826 against Turkic Muslim rebels led by the Khoja Jahangir

The Muslim Khojas and Kokands were resisted by both the Qing army and the Hui Muslim (Tungan) merchants, who had no problems battling their coreligionists. Among those who died in battle in 1826 against Jahangir Khoja's forces was the Hui Zhang Mingtang who led the merchant militia of Kashgar.[198]

During the 1826 invasion Jahangir Khoja's forces took six Hui Muslims as slaves, Nian Dengxi, Liu Qifeng, Wu Erqi, Ma Tianxi, Tian Guan, and Li Shengzhao, and sold them off in Central Asia, they escaped and fled back to China via Russia.[199]

When the Khojas attacked in 1830 and 1826 against Yarkand and Kashgar, Hui Muslim (Tungan) merchant militia fought them off and Hui Muslims were also part of the Qing Green Standard Army.[200]

Ishaqi (Black Mountain) Khoja followers helped the Qing oppose Jahangir Khoja's Afaqi (White Mountain) Khoja faction.

The Black Mountain Khoja followers (Qarataghliks) supported the Qing against the White Mountain (Aqtaghlik) Khoja invasions.[201] The Qing-Black Mountan Khoja alliance helped bring down Jahangir Khoja's White Mountain rule.[202]

Chinese rule in Xinjiang was supported by the Black Mountain Qarataghlik Turkic Muslims and they were called "Khitai-parast" (China worshippers, or "followers of China") and were based in Artush, while the White Mountain Aqtaghlik Khojas were against China, were called "sayyid parast" (sayyid worshippers or "sayyid-followers") and were based in Kucha, were guided by "Turkic nationalism", the Qarataghliks did not say bismillah before cutting up and eating melons, while the Aqtaghliks said bismillah before eating and cutting melons, and there was no intermarriage between the two factions which were strongly opposed to each other.[203][204]

Ishaqi followers mounted opposition to Jahangir Khoja's Kokandi backed forces and the Ishaqis helped Qing loyalists.[205] Ishaqi followers started opposition to the "debauchery" and "pillage" caused by the Afaqi rule under Jahangir Khoja and allied with Qing loyalists to oppose Jahangir.[206]

In the Kokandi invasion and Jahangir's invasion, the Qing were assisted by the "Black Hat Muslims" (the Ishaqiyya) against the Afaqiyya.[207]

The Kokandis planted false information that the local Turkic Muslims were plotting with them in the invasion and this reached the ears of the Chinese merchants in Kashgar.[208]

Yarkand was placed under siege by the Kokandis, and the Chinese merchants and Qing military declined to come out in open battle, instead taking cover inside fortifications and slaughtered the Kokandi troops using guns and cannons and the local Turkic Muslims of Yarkand helped the Qing capture or drive off the remaining Kokandis with some of the prisoners being executed after capture.[209]

The Kokandi supported Jahangir Khoja of the White Mountain faction first launched his attack on the Qing in 1825 and slaughtered Chinese civilians and the tiny Chinese military force as he attacked Kashgar, in addition to killing the Turki Muslim pro-Chinese Governor of Kashgar, he took Kashgar in 1826. In Ili the Chinese responded by calling up a massive army of northern and eastern steppe nomads and Hui Muslims (Dongans) numbering 80,000 to fight Jahangir.[210] Jahangir brought his 50,000 strong army to fight them at Maralbashi, the two armies began the fight by challenging other to a duel in "single combat" between two champions in their armies. A Khokandi (Kokandi) who used a rifle and sword was the champion of Jahangir while a Calmac (Kalmyk) archer was the champion of the Chinese, the Calmac killed the Khokandi with an arrow and the two armies then confronted each other in battle, the Chinese army butchering Jahangir's army which tried to flee from the scene. Jahangir scrammed and hid out but was turned over to the Chinese by the Kyrgyz and he was tortured and put to death, Yusuf, Jahangir's brother, invaded the Qing in 1830 and besieged Kashgar.[211] The Qing and Kokand negotiated and end to the conflict. The Aksakal was the representative of Kokand posted in Kashgar after China and Kokand signed the treaty ending the conflict.[212] The Kokandis pulled back and retreated from the siege while Turkis were massacred in the city. The Chinese used 3,000 criminals to help crush the "Revolt of the Seven Khojas" broke out in 1846, and the local Turki Muslims refused to help the khojas because the Chinese supporting Muslims had their daughters and wives abducted by the Khojas. Wali Khan, who was reputed for his brutality and tyranny, let a rebellion in 1855 and began by attacking Kashgar.[213][213] Chinese were massacred and the daughters and wives of the suboordinates of the loyalist Turki governor were seized. Adolphe Schlagintweit, a German, was executed by beheading by Wali Khan and his head put on display. Wali Khan was infamous for his cruelty and if courtiers "raised their eyes" to him he would murder them, when the call to prayer was made by a muezzin and his voice was too loud the muezzin was murdered by Wali Khan. A 12,000 strong Chinese army crushed and defeated the 20,000 strong army of Wali Khan in 77 days of combat. Wali Khan was abandoned by his "allies" due to his cruelty. The Chinese inflicted harsh reprisals upon Wali Khan's forces and had his son and father in law executed in harsh manners.[214]

The local Uyghurs of Altishahr grew to hate and despise Wali Khan for his forcible introduction of Kokandi culture and suppression of Kashgari culture and for his brutality.[215]

Republic of China

See also: Pan-Mongolism

Pan-Mongolian movements in Xinjiang

Mongols have at times advocated for the historical Oirat Dzungar Mongol area of Dzungaria in northern Xinjiang, to be annexed to the Mongolian state in the name of Pan-Mongolism.

Legends grew among the remaining Oirats that Amursana had not died after he fled to Russia, but was alive and would return to his people to liberate them from Manchu Qing rule and restore the Oirat nation. Prophecies had been circulating about the return of Amursana and the revival of the Oirats in the Altai region.[216][217] The Oirat Kalmyk Ja Lama claimed to be a grandson of Amursana and then claimed to be a reincarnation of Amursana himself, preaching anti-Manchu propaganda in western Mongolia in the 1890s and calling for the overthrow of the Qing dynasty.[218] Ja Lama was arrested and deported several times. However, he returned to the Oirat Torghuts in Altay (in Dzungaria) in 1910 and in 1912 he helped the Outer Mongolians mount an attack on the last Qing garrison at Kovd, where the Manchu Amban was refusing to leave and fighting the newly declared independent Mongolian state.[219][220][221][222][223] The Manchu Qing force was defeated and slaughtered by the Mongols after Khovd fell.[224]

Ja Lama told the Oirat remnants in Xinjiang: "I am a mendicant monk from the Russian Tsar's kingdom, but I am born of the great Mongols. My herds are on the Volga river, my water source is the Irtysh. There are many hero warriors with me. I have many riches. Now I have come to meet with you beggars, you remnants of the Oirats, in the time when the war for power begins. Will you support the enemy? My homeland is Altai, Irtysh, Khobuk-sari, Emil, Bortala, Ili, and Alatai. This is the Oirat mother country. By descent, I am the great-grandson of Amursana, the reincarnation of Mahakala, owning the horse Maralbashi. I am he whom they call the hero Dambijantsan. I came to move my pastures back to my own land, to collect my subject households and bondservants, to give favour, and to move freely."[225][226]

Ja Lama built an Oirat fiefdom centered on Kovd,[227] he and fellow Oirats from Altai wanted to emulate the original Oirat empire and build another grand united Oirat nation from the nomads of western China and Mongolia,[228] but was arrested by Russian Cossacks and deported in 1914 on the request of the Monglian government after the local Mongols complained of his excesses, and out of fear that he would create an Oirat separatist state and divide them from the Khalkha Mongols.[229] Ja Lama returned in 1918 to Mongolia and resumed his activities and supported himself by extorting passing caravans,[230][231][232] but was assassinated in 1922 on the orders of the new Communist Mongolian authorities under Damdin Sükhbaatar.[233][234][235]

The part Buryat Transbaikalian Cossack Ataman Grigory Semyonov declared a "Great Mongol State" in 1918 and had designs to unify the Oirat Mongol lands, portions of Xinjiang, Transbaikal, Inner Mongolia, Outer Mongolia, Tannu Uriankhai, Khovd, Hu-lun-pei-erh and Tibet into one Mongolian state.[236] Agvan Dorzhiev tried advocating for Oirat Mongol areas like Tarbagatai, Ili, and Altai to get added to the Outer Mongolian state.[237] Out of concern that China would be provoked, this proposed addition of the Oirat Dzungaria to the new Outer Mongolian state was rejected by the Soviets.[238]

East Turkestan independence movements

A rebellion in Kashgar against Republic of China rule led to the establishment of the short-lived First East Turkestan Republic or Turkish Islamic Republic of East Turkestan (1933–1934). The Chinese Hui Muslim 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army) crushed the Turkic First East Turkestan Republic at the Battle of Kashgar (1933) and Battle of Kashgar (1934). Hui Muslim leaders like Ma Shaowu, General Ma Zhancang and General Ma Fuyuan fought the Turkic separatists.

During the Kumul Rebellion in Xinjiang in the 1930s, Buddhist murals were deliberately vandalized by Muslims.[239]

Sheng Shicai, a secret member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, came into power after a military coup. He disobeyed the decree and order from the Chinese central government, but still ruled the region under the name of the Republic of China.

The Second East Turkestan Republic was a short-lived Soviet-backed unrecognised republic in northern Xinjiang.

Sheng Shicai later became anti-Russian when he became aware of the Soviet's intent to control his government. He expelled Soviet advisors and executed many Han Communists. Joseph Stalin was very angry with his convert and dispatched troops to invade Xinjiang. The Soviet troops helped the rebellion at Ili (Yining City) during the Chinese civil war. The rebellion lead to the establishment of the Second East Turkistan Republic (1944–1949), which existed in three northern districts (Ili, Tarbaghatai, Altai) of Xinjiang province of the Republic of China with secret aid from the Soviet Union (Russia used consistent effort to annex Chinese territory since the 17th century). The majority of Xinjang remained under the control of the Republic of China.

After winning the Chinese civil war in 1949, the People's Liberation Army took control of Xinjiang from Republic of China forces and the Second East Turkestan Republic.

Pan-Turkic Jadidists and East Turkestan Independence activists Muhammad Amin Bughra and Masud Sabri rejected the Soviets and Sheng Shicai's imposition of the name "Uyghur people" upon the Turkic people of Xinjiang. They wanted instead the name "Turkic ethnicity" (Chinese: 突厥族; pinyin: tūjué zú) to be applied to their people. Masud Sabri also viewed the Hui people as Muslim Han Chinese and separate from his own people.[240] The names "Türk" or "Türki" in particular were demanded by Bughra as the real name for his people. He slammed Sheng Shicai for his designation of Turkic Muslims into different ethnicities, which could sow disunion among Turkic Muslims.[241]

The usage of the name "Uyghur" for the modern ethnic group has led to anachronisms and falsehood when applied to history by both the PRC and Uyghur nationalists.[242]

People's Republic of China

At the start of the 19th century, 40 years after the Qing reconquest, there were around 155,000 Han and Hui Chinese in northern Xinjiang and somewhat more than twice that number of Uyghurs in southern Xinjiang.[179] A census of Xinjiang under Qing rule in the early 19th century tabulated ethnic shares of the population as 30% Han and 60% Turkic, while it dramatically shifted to 6% Han and 75% Uyghur in the 1953 census, however a situation similar to the Qing era-demographics with a large number of Han has been restored as of 2000 with 40.57% Han and 45.21% Uyghur.[243] Professor Stanley W. Toops noted that today's demographic situation is similar to that of the early Qing period in Xinjiang.[148] Before 1831, only a few hundred Chinese merchants lived in southern Xinjiang oases (Tarim Basin) and only a few Uyghurs lived in northern Xinjiang (Dzungaria).[26]

Uyghur nationalists often incorrectly claim that 5% of Xinjiang's population in 1949 was Han, and that the other 95% was Uyghur, erasing the presence of Kazakhs, Xibes, and others, and ignoring the fact that Hans were around one third of Xinjiang's population at 1800, during the time of the Qing Dynasty.[182]

In 1955 (the first modern census in China was taken in 1953), Uyghurs were counted as 73% of Xinjiang's total population of 5.11 million.[244] Although Xinjiang as a whole is designated as a "Uyghur Autonomous Region", since 1954 more than 50% of Xinjiang's land area are designated autonomous areas for 13 native non-Uyghur groups.[245] The modern Uyghur people experienced ethnogenesis especially from 1955, when the PRC officially recognized that ethnic category - in opposition to the Han - of formerly separately self-identified oasis peoples.[246]

The People's Republic of China has directed the majority of Han migrants towards the sparsely populated Dzungaria (Junggar Basin), before 1953 most of Xinjiang's population (75%) lived in the Tarim Basin, so the new Han migrants resulted in the distribution of population between Dzungaria and the Tarim being changed.[247][248] Most new Chinese migrants ended up in the northern region, in Dzungaria.[249] Han and Hui made up the majority of the population in Dzungaria's cities while Uighurs made up most of the population in Kashgaria's cities.[250] Eastern and Central Dzungaria are the specific areas where these Han and Hui are concentrated.[251] China made sure that new Han migrants were settled in entirely new areas uninhabited by Uyghurs so as to not disturb the already existing Uyghur communities.[252] Lars-Erik Nyman noted that Kashgaria was the native land of the Uighurs, "but a migration has been in progress to Dzungaria since the 18th century".[253]

Both Han economic migrants from other parts of China and Uyghur economic migrants from southern Xinjiang have been flooding into northern Xinjiang since the 1980s.[254]

Southern Xinjiang is where the majority of the Uyghur population resides, while it is in Northern Xinjiang cities where the majority of the Han (90%) population of Xinjiang reside.[255] Southern Xinjiang is dominated by its nine million Uighur majority population, while northern Xinjiang is where the mostly urban Han population holds sway.[256] This situation has been followed by an imbalance in the economic situation between the two ethnic groups, since the Northern Junghar Basin (Dzungaria) has been more developed than the Uighur south.[257]

Since the Chinese economic reform from the late 1970s has exacerbated uneven regional development, more Uyghurs have migrated to Xinjiang cities and some Hans have also migrated to Xinjiang for independent economic advancement. Increased ethnic contact and labor competition coincided with Uyghur separatist terrorism from the 1990s, such as the 1997 Ürümqi bus bombings.[258]

In the 1980s, 90% of Xinjiang Han lived in north Xinjiang (Jiangbei, historical Dzungaria). In the mid-1990s, Uyghurs consisted of 90% of south Xinjiang (Nanjiang, historical Tarim)'s population.[259] In 1980, the liberal reformist Hu Yaobang announced the expulsion of ethnic Han cadres in Xinjiang to eastern China. Hu was purged in 1987 for a series of demonstrations that he is said to have provoked in other areas of China. The prominent Xinjiang and national official Wang Zhen criticized Hu for destroying Xinjiang Han cadres' "sense of security", and for exacerbating ethnic tensions.[260]

In the 1990s, there was a net inflow of Han people to Xinjiang, many of whom were previously prevented from moving because of the declining number of social services tied to hukou (residency permits).[261] As of 1996, 13.6% of Xinjiang's population was employed by the publicly traded Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (Bingtuan) corporation. 90% of the Bingtuan's activities relate to agriculture, and 88% of Bingtuan employees are Han, although the percentage of Hans with ties to the Bingtuan has decreased.[262] Han emigration from Xinjiang has also resulted in an increase of minority-identified agricultural workers as a total percentage of Xinjiang's farmers, from 69.4% in 1982 to 76.7% in 1990.[263] During the 1990s, about 1.2 million temporary migrants entered Xinjiang every year to stay for the cotton picking season.[264] Many Uyghur trading communities exist outside of Xinjiang; the largest in Beijing is one village of a few thousand.[264]

In 2000, Uyghurs "comprised 45 per cent of Xinjiang's population, but only 12.8 per cent of Urumqi's population." Despite having 9% of Xinjiang's population, Urumqi accounts for 25% of the region's GDP, and many rural Uyghurs have been migrating to that city to seek work in the dominant light, heavy, and petrochemical industries.[265] Hans in Xinjiang are demographically older, better-educated, and work in higher-paying professions than their Uyghur cohabitants. Hans are more likely to cite business reasons for moving to Urumqi, while some Uyghurs also cite trouble with the law back home and family reasons for their moving to Urumqi.[266] Hans and Uyghurs are equally represented in Urumqi's floating population that works mostly in commerce. Self-segregation within the city is widespread, in terms of residential concentration, employment relationships, and a social norm of endogamy.[267] As of 2010, Uyghurs constitute a majority in the Tarim Basin, and a mere plurality in Xinjiang as a whole.[268]

Han and Hui mostly live in northern Xinjiang (Dzungaria), and are separated from areas of historical Uyghur dominance south of the Tian Shan mountains (southwestern Xinjiang), where Uyghurs account for about 90% of the population.[269]

After the declarations of independence of the constituent republics of the area of Central Asia(Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) from the Soviet Union in 1991, calls for the liberation of East Turkestan from China began to surface again from many in the Turkic population.

Those that use the term Uyghurstan tend to envision a state for the Uyghur people. Those groups that adopt this terminology tended to be allied with the Soviet Union while it still existed (Indeed, Russia incited and aided the rebellion in attempt to annex these regions in the future). Since then some of the leaders of these groups have remained in Russia, Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, or have emigrated to Europe and North America. It is worth noting that none of these identities are exclusive. Some groups support more than one such orientation. It is common to support both an Islamic and Turkic orientation for Xinjiang, for example, the founders of independent Republic in Kashgar in 1933 used names Turkic Islamic Republic of East Turkestan and Eastern Turkestan Republic the same time.

Since 1995 the Chair of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization has been Erkin Alptekin, the son of the Uyghur leader Isa Yusuf Alptekin.

Uyghur Muslim opposition to a Buddhist Aspara statue in Ürümqi in Xinjiang was cited as a possible reason for its destruction in 2012.[270][271] A Muslim Kazakh viewed a giant Buddha statue near Ürümqi as "alien cultural symbols".[272]

Social issues related to the movement

Intermarriage between Han Chinese and Uyghur

There were eras in Xinjiang's history where intermarriage was common, "laxity" which set upon Uyghur women led them to marry Chinese men and not wear the veil in the period after Yaqub Beg's rule ended, it is also believed by Uyghurs that some Uyghurs have Han Chinese ancestry from historical intermarriage, such as those living in Turpan.[273]:309– From 1911–1949 when the Guomindang ruled, Han soldiers were approached for relationships by a number of Uyghur girls.[274]

Although banned in Islam, a form of temporary marriage which the man could easily terminate and ignoring the traditional marriage contract was created called marriage of convenience by Turki Muslims in Xinjiang and one was conducted by the repetition of the Quran's Surah Fatiha by an Emam between Ughlug Beg's great granddaughter Nura Han and Ahmad Kamal.[275]

Even though Muslim women are forbidden to marry non-Muslims in Islamic law, from 1880–1949 it was frequently violated in Xinjiang since Chinese men married Muslim Turki (Uyghur) women, a reason suggested by foreigners that it was due to the women being poor, while the Turki women who married Chinese were labelled as whores by the Turki community, these marriages were illegitimate according to Islamic law but the women obtained benefits from marrying Chinese men since the Chinese defended them from Islamic authorities so the women were not subjected to the tax on prostitution and were able to save their income for themselves. Chinese men gave their Turki wives privileges which Turki men's wives did not have, since the wives of Chinese did not have to wear a veil and a Chinese man in Kashgar once beat a mullah who tried to force his Turki Kashgari wife to veil. The Turki women also benefited in that they were not subjected to any legal binding to their Chinese husbands so they could make their Chinese husbands provide them with as much their money as she wanted for her relatives and herself since otherwise the women could just leave, and the property of Chinese men was left to their Turki wives after they died.[276] Turki women considered Turki men to be inferior husbands to Chinese and Hindus. Because they were viewed as "impure", Islamic cemeteries banned the Turki wives of Chinese men from being buried within them, the Turki women got around this problem by giving shrines donations and buying a grave in other towns. Besides Chinese men, other men such as Hindus, Armenians, Jews, Russians, and Badakhshanis intermarried with local Turki women.[277] The local society accepted the Turki women and Chinese men's mixed offspring as their own people despite the marriages being in violation of Islamic law. Turki women also conducted temporary marriages with Chinese men such as Chinese soldiers temporarily stationed around them as soldiers for tours of duty, after which the Chinese men returned to their own cities, with the Chinese men selling their mixed daughters with the Turki women to his comrades, taking their sons with them if they could afford it but leaving them if they couldn't, and selling their temporary Turki wife to a comrade or leaving her behind.[278] The basic formalities of normal marriages were maintained as a facade even in temporary marriages.[279] Prostitution by Turki women due to the buying of daughters from impoverished families and divorced women was recorded by Scotsman George Hunter.[280] Mullahs officiated temporary marriages and both the divorce and the marriage proceedings were undertaken by the mullah at the same ceremony if the marriage was only to last for a certain arranged time and there was a temporary marriage bazaar in Yangi Hissar according to Nazaroff.[281][282] Islamic law was being violated by the temporary marriages which particularly violated Sunni Islam.[283]

Valikhanov claimed that foreigners children in Turkistan were referred to by the name çalğurt. Turki women were bashed as of being negative character by a Kashgari Turki woman's Tibetan husband- racist views of each other's ethnicities between partners in interethnic marriages still persisted sometimes. It was mostly Turki women marrying foreign men with a few cases of the opposite occurring in this era.[284]

Andijani (Kokandi) Turkic Muslim merchants (from modern Uzbekistan), who shared the same religion, a similar culture, cuisine, clothing, and phenotypes with the Altishahri Uyghurs, frequently married local Altishahri women and the name "chalgurt" was applied to their mixed race daughters and sons, the daughters were left behind with their Uyghur Altishahri mothers while the sons were taken by the Kokandi fathers when they returned to their homeland.[285]

The Qing banned Khoqandi merchants from marrying Kashgari women. Due to 'group jealously' disputes broke out due to Chinese and Turki crossing both religious and ethnic differences and engaging and sex. Turki locals viewed fellow Turkic Muslim Andijanis also as competitors for their own women. A Turki proverb said "Do not let a man from Andijan into your house".[286]

Turki women were able to inherited the property of their Chinese husbands after they died.[287]

In Xinjiang temporary marriage, marriage de convenance, called waqitliq toy in Turki, was one of the prevalent forms of polygamy, "the mulla who performs the ceremony arranging for the divorce at the same time", with women and men marrying for a fixed period of time for several days are a week. While temporary marriage was banned in Russian Turkestan, Chinese ruled Xinjiang permitted the temporary marriage where it was widespread.[288]

Chinese merchants and soldiers, foreigners like Russians, foreign Muslims, and other Turki merchants all engaged in temporary marriages with Turki women, since a lot of foreigners lived in Yarkand, temporary marriage flourished there more than it did towards areas with fewer foreigners like areas towards Kucha's east.[289]

Childless, married youthful women were called "chaucan" in Turki, and Forsyth mission participant Dr. Bellew said that "there was the chaucan always ready to contract an alliance for a long or short period with the merchant or traveller visiting the country or with anybody else".[290] Henry Lansdell wrote in 1893 in his book Chinese Central Asia an account of temporary marriage practiced by a Turki Muslim woman, who married three different Chinese officers and a Muslim official.[291] The station of prostitutes was accorded by society to these Muslim women who had sex with Chinese men.[292]

Many of the young Kashgari women were most attractive in appearance, and some of the little girls quite lovely, their plaits of long hair falling from under a jaunty little embroidered cap, their big dark eyes, flashing teeth and piquant olive faces reminding me of Italian or Spanish children. One most beautiful boy stands out in my memory. He was clad in a new shirt and trousers of flowered pink, his crimson velvet cap embroidered with gold, and as he smiled and salaamed to us I thought he looked like a fairy prince. The women wear their hair in two or five plaits much thickened and lengthened by the addition of yak's hair, but the children in several tiny plaits.

The peasants are fairly well off, as the soil is rich, the abundant water-supply free, and the taxation comparatively light. It was always interesting to meet them taking their live stock into market. Flocks of sheep with tiny lambs, black and white, pattered along the dusty road; here a goat followed its master like a dog, trotting behind the diminutive ass which the farmer bestrode; or boys, clad in the whity-brown native cloth, shouted incessantly at donkeys almost invisible under enormous loads of forage, or carried fowls and ducks in bunches head downwards, a sight that always made me long to come to the rescue of the luckless birds.

It was pleasant to see the women riding alone on horseback, managing their mounts to perfection. They formed a sharp contrast to their Persian sisters, who either sit behind their husbands or have their steeds led by the bridle; and instead of keeping silence in public, as is the rule for the shrouded women of Iran, these farmers' wives chaffered and haggled with the men in the bazar outside the city, transacting business with their veils thrown back.

Certainly the mullas do their best to keep the fair sex in their place, and are in the habit of beating those who show their faces in the Great Bazar. But I was told that poetic justice had lately been meted out to one of these upholders of the law of Islam, for by mistake he chastised a Kashgari woman married to a Chinaman, whereupon the irate husband set upon him with a big stick and castigated him soundly.[293][276]

Almost every Chinaman in Yarkand, soldier or civilian, takes unto himself a temporary wife, dispensing entirely with the services of the clergy, as being superfluous, and most of the high officials also give way to the same amiable weakness, their mistresses being in almost all cases natives of Khotan, which city enjoys the unenviable distinction of supplying every large city in Turkestan with courtesans.

When a Chinaman is called back to his own home in China proper, or a Chinese soldier has served his time in Turkestan and has to return to his native city of Pekin or Shanghai, he either leaves his temporary wife behind to shift for herself, or he sells her to a friend. If he has a family he takes the boys with him~—if he can afford it—failing that, the sons are left alone and unprotected to fight the battle of life, While in the case of daughters, he sells them to one of his former companions for a trifling sum.

The natives, although all Mahammadans, have a strong predilection for the Chinese, and seem to like their manners and customs, and never seem to resent this behaviour to their womankind, their own manners, customs, and morals (?) being of the very loosest description.[294][289]

That a Muslim should take in marriage one of alien faith is not objected to; it is rather deemed a meritorious act thus to bring an unbeliever to the true religion. The Muslim woman, on the other hand, must not be given in marriage to a non-Muslim; such a union is regarded as the most heinous of sins. In this matter, however, compromises are sometimes made with heaven: the marriage of a Turki princess with the emperor Ch'ien-lung has already been referred to; and, when the present writer passed through Minjol (a day's journey west of Kashgar) in 1902, a Chinese with a Turki wife (? concubine) was presented to him.[295]

He procured me a Chinese interpreter, Fong Shi, a pleasant and agreeable young Chinaman, who wrote his mother-tongue with ease and spoke Jagatai Turki fluently, and—did not smoke opium. He left his wife and child behind him in Khotan, Liu Darin making himself answerable for their maintenance. But I also paid Fong Shi three months' salary in advance, and that money he gave to his wife. Whenever I could find leisure he was to give me lessons in Chinese, and we began at once, even before we left Khotan.[296][297]..........

Thus the young Chinaman's proud dream of one day riding through the gates of Peking and beholding the palace (yamen) of his fabulously mighty emperor, as well as of perhaps securing, through my recommendation, a lucrative post, and finally, though by no means last in his estimation, of exchanging the Turki wife he had left behind in Khotan for a Chinese bride—this proud dream was pricked at the foot of Arka-tagh. Sadly and silently he stood alone in the desert, gazing after us, as we continued our way towards the far-distant goal of his youthful ambition.[298][299]

Different ethnic groups had different attitudes toward prostitution. George W. Hunter (missionary) noted that while Tungan Muslims (Chinese Muslims) would almost never prostitute their daughters, Turki Muslims (Uyghurs) would prostitute their daughters, which was why Turki prostitutes were common around the country.[300]

An anti-Russian uproar broke out when Russian customs officials, 3 Cossacks and a Russian courier invited local Turki Muslim (Uyghur) prostitutes to a party in January 1902 in Kashgar, this caused a massive brawl by the inflamed local Turki Muslim populace against the Russians on the pretense of protecting Muslim women because there was anti-Russian sentiment being built up, even though morality was not strict in Kashgar, the local Turki Muslims violently clashed with the Russians before they were dispersed, the Chinese sought to end to tensions to prevent the Russians from building up a pretext to invade.[301]

After the riot, the Russians sent troops to Sarikol in Tashkurghan and demanded that the Sarikol postal services be placed under Russian supervision, the locals of Sarikol believed that the Russians would seize the entire district from the Chinese and send more soldiers even after the Russians tried to negotiate with the Begs of Sarikol and sway them to their side, they failed since the Sarikoli officials and authorities demanded in a petition to the Amban of Yarkand that they be evacuated to Yarkand to avoid being harassed by the Russians and objected to the Russian presence in Sarikol, the Sarikolis did not believe the Russian claim that they would leave them alone and only involved themselves in the mail service.[302]

Le Coq reported that in his time sometimes Turkis distrusted Tungans (Hui Muslims) more than Han Chinese, so that a Tungan would never be given a Turki woman in marriage by her father, while a (Han) Chinese men could be given a Turki woman in marriage by her father.[303]

In Kashgar in 1933 the Chinese kept concubines and spouses who were Turkic women.[304]

In Urumqi (Uyghur) Muslim women who married Han Chinese men were assaulted by hordes of (Uyghur) Muslims on July 11, 1947, and the women were seized and kidnapped by the hordes. Old (Uyghur) Muslim men forcibly married the women. In response to the chaos a curfew was placed at 11 p.m.[305]

The marriages between Muslim (Uyghur) women and Han Chinese men infuriated the Uyghur leader Isa Yusuf Alptekin.[306]

Mixed Han-Uyghur partners are pressured to leave their parents and sometimes leave Xinjiang entirely, from 1911–1949 when the Guomindang ruled China, Han Chinese Generals in the military were sought after and wooed by Uyghur women due to their poverty, but in 1949 when the Communists took over, the Uyghur population branded them as milliy munapiq (ethnic scum) and threatened and coerced them into accompanying their Han partners in moving to Taiwan, Uyghur parents warn not to return to Xinjiang their female and male children if they married Han after moving to "China proper" for attending educational institutions, so they can avoid ostracism and condemnation from their fellow Uyghurs, a case where a Han male dating Uyghur woman told Dr. Smith Finley about a relationship between a Han man and her elder sister resulted in the Uyghur community condemning and pressuring her mother.[273]:330–

A 28 year old mixed race woman named Amy whose father was Han and whose mother was Uyghur was interviewed by The Atlantic and she spoke of being estranged from Uyghurs and viewed Uyghur men's appearances negatively.[307] After a Han Chinese man named Xiaohe and a Uyghur woman named Aygul married, the Uyghur women was physically assaulted by her father. A Uyghur family cut off their daughter, a Uyghur woman Ahman who had a Han Chinese husband named Ming. When she had a Han Chinese boyfriend in school her fellow Uyghurs violently assaulted her. Uyghurs are often angered and shun inter-ethnic families with Han men and Uyghur women. These interethnic pairs fled Xinjiang to Beijing.[308]

Exceptions through general opposition to intermarriage could take place in event of the Han converting to Islam or the Uyghur and Han partners moving away to another location.[273]:296–

Although currently Uyghurs have an extremely low intermarriage overall, Dr. Joanne Smith Finley wrote that there is tiny rise in marriages between Han men and Uyghur women and out of all ethnic groups, ahead of Hui and Kazakhs, Han are the ethnic group with whom Uyghurs marry with the most within their total small rate of intermarriage, and Uyghur females married out more than Uyghur males at 0.46 to 0.2%, with Uyghur males being the least likely people to intermarry in Xinjiang.[273]:298– Multiple studies and interviews found that the current prevalent form of intermarriage between Han and Uyghur is Han men being taken as husbands by Uyghur women.[273]:299–

Family relatives who object to interracial marriages of their relatives often lead to lasting difficulties, with relatives pressuing the marriage not to take place or forcing the couple to be estranged from the family.[273]:300–

Many interracial couples face the prospect of being disowned by their parents and cut off if they intermarried, while some couples, in the face of opposition, chose to run off with their partners.[273]:301–

Uyghur parents have cut off or told to stay away from Xinjiang, their children who married Han after going to "China proper" to pursue their education, some interracial couples had secret marriages to hide from their relatives and parents in Ghulja.[273]:302–

Dr. Joanne Smith Finley interviewed Uyghur youth and found that Uyghur parents often pressure their children, daughters and sons, not to intermarry, the reactions from their children are mixed, with some Uyghurs like Mälikä and Aygül saying they would have to obey their parents and split up from their Han partner, while other Uyghurs said they would abscond and run away with their Han partner like a 20 year old Uyghur woman named Gülshäm who said she would run off with a Han if the relationship was not allowed by her father.[273]:304–

Communities in which there has been racial conflict may put negative pressure on interracial couples and act as an impediment to them.[273]:306– Conflict and war between different races leads to community prejudice against couples consisting of the two different races.[273]:307–

A 15 year old Uyghur boy named Burkhan rejected the idea of marrying a Han female and told Dr. Smith Finley that he would be totally shunned by his fellow Uyghurs if he did it, while a 20 year old Uyghur woman named Gülshäm said that she was open to marriage with Han, she cheered on mixed couples as courageous, condemning her fellow Uyghurs for their harsh opposition to intermarriage, after Gülshäm brought up the subject of dating a Han boyfriend with a female friend, her friend then threatened violence against her if she ever dated a Han.[273]:312–

When intermarriage takes place with a reviled ethnicity, families may disown their children for doing it.[273]:315–

War and conflict between different peoples can hinder intermarriage between them.[273]:317–

Marriage with Hui is detested by many Uyghurs even though they are both Muslims, religion plays a role at restricting marriages between non-Muslims and Muslims.[273]:322–

Muslims pressure men who marry into their community to convert to Islam.[273]:325–

A number of Uyghur parents demand Han males and females who want to marry their daughters or sons convert to Islam, it was reported that there were many conversions to Islam by Han males who married Uyghur women by a Uyghur man, Nurmämät who was interviewed by Dr. Smith Finley.[273]:326–

Becoming a Muslim results in more acceptance among Uyghurs of Han spouses, a case in Urumqi of a Han male who converted to Islam and married a Uyghur woman, was reported by an 18 year old Uyghur male, Ömär, who lived in the same area as the man and voiced the approval of the Uyghur community, the man adopted doppa hat, went to the mosque to pray and changed his name to Jümäkhun and was accepted as a real Muslim, while another case of a Han woman converting to Islam to marry a Uyghur was viewed with suspicion since the Uyghurs suspected her of faking the conversion and she would not integrate with the Uyghur community at all.[273]:327–

Han and Hui intermarry with each other much more than Hui do with Uyghurs, despite Hui and Uyghur both being Muslim, and according to Uyghurs, Hui marriages with Uyghur frequently break apart and end in divorce.[273]:337

Children who are of mixed Han and Uyghur ethnicities are known as erzhuanzi (二转子) and Uyghurs call them piryotki.[309] They are shunned by Uyghurs at social gatherings and events.[310]

Many Uyghurs oppose mixed race marriages and the majority of Uyghur men interviewed by Professor Blaine Kaltman viewed Han Chinese women as physically unattractive and none of them were dating Han women and had no desire to, vieweing them as alien and "too skinny" while they said they were attracted to Turkish and Russian actresses, Han parents in turn were negative towards Uyghur men and believed that women would suffer abuse at the hands of a Uyghur spouse.[311] Han youth were more open to interracial dating and Han parents, both mothers and fathers were more willing to let their sons date Uyghur girls while they object to their daughters dating Uyghur boys since they believe their girls would be in danger.[312]

Most Uyghurs in both Xinjiang and in Han cities Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Beijing, desire that their son marry with fellow Uyghurs to preserve their culture, a Uyghur man interviewed by Professor Kaltman in Urumqi expressed his willingness to let a Han man marry his daughter, but wanted his son to marry another Uyghur.[313]

Interracial dating is prevalent among Han people and "Chinese Uighur" (assimilated Uyghurs who speak Mandarin), one government employee Uyghur man interviewed by Professor Kaltman said he does not anticipate a Han marrying his daughter but he would not object to it if she wanted to, Professor Kaltman interviewed an additional Uyghur man who said he would not allow a Han woman to date his son because his descendants would not be raised as Uyghur,[314] but he would approve of his son marrying Kazakh or Russian girls.[315]

A psychotherapist treated a Han Chinese named Wang Minxing who was married to a taller Uyghur woman named Ayi Guli, she became a partner in his furniture manufacturing company and aborted two children they had together before they married, after they married she did not abort when she became pregnant a third time after their marriage.[316] Wang wanted a son and Ayi was exempt from the policy on was allowed to give birth to another child but Ayi felt that she became a businesswoman to escape this patriarchal child bearing role.[317]


Sir Percy Sykes and Ella Sykes wrote that in Kashghar women went into the bazar "transacting business with their veils thrown back" but mullahs tried to enforce veil wearing and were "in the habit of beating those who show their face in the Great Bazar" although Sykes mentioned that "I was told that poetic justice had lately been meted out to one of these upholders of the law of Islam, for by mistake he chastised a Kashgari woman married to a Chinaman, whereupon the irate husband set upon him with a big stick and castigated him soundly."[318] Non-Muslim Chinese men gave their Turki (Uyghur) wives privileges which Turki men's wives did not have, since the wives of Chinese did not have to wear a veil and a Chinese man in Kashgar once beat a mullah who tried to force his Turki Kashgari wife to veil.[319] Uyghur women who had non-Muslim Han Chinese husbands did not wear veils due to their slackness in regards to religion in the period after Yaqub Beg's rule ended.[320]

In the 1930s during the Kumul Rebellion the traveller Ahmad Kamal was asked by Turki (Uyghur) men if the veils donned by Turki women in Xinjiang were also worn by women in America (Amerikaluk).[321] The label of "whores" (Jilops) was used for Russian (Russ) and American (Amerikaluk) women by Turki men when what these women wore in public while bathing and the fact that no veil was worn by them was described by Ahmad Kamal to the Turki men.[322] Nomadic women did not wear the face veil and neither did peasant women. It was urban rich women who wore the face veil. Ahmad Kamal saw an unveiled peasant woman Jennett Han.[323] The face veil was only allowed to be taken off in the house and where just their husbands and fellow women could see them.[324] Veils were dropped by young women while the old "hags" were angry when boudoir in the gardens of Turki women were spied on by Ahmad Kamal and his companions.[325][326] Veils were worn by Turki women.[327]

Face covering veils with caps of otter were worn in the streets by women in public in Xinjiang as witnessed by Ahmad Kamal in the 1930s.[328] In order to properly mount her stirrup with her foot, one Turki woman had to temporarily lift her veil to see better.[329] The face of the girl who was to marry Ahmad Kamal was covered by the veil.[330] Nura Han removed her face veil after marring Ahmad Kamal.[331] A cap of otter and a veil was worn by Nura Han.[332] Muslim women faced no risk in Urumqi of being deveiled by the government (hookemet) so Ahmad Kamal wore a face veil and women's attire to escape.[333]

One saying was that Muslim maidens wear the red that bespeaks a virgin, and the transparency of their veils reveals a desire to change their raiment's hue. [334][335] In order to see Ahmad Kamal and his two companions a veil was slightly lifeted by a donkey borne woman.[336]

In the streets of the bazar of Urumchi Turki women did not veil unlike southern Xinjiang's Muslim bazars where women veiled in public according to Ahmad Kamal.[337]

Underage Marriage

One of the grievances against China by the Turkistan Islamic Party was that China implemented female and male equality.[338]

Among Uyghurs it was thought that God designed women to endure hardship and work, the word for "helpless one", ʿājiza, was used to call women who were not married while women who were married were called mazlūm among Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, however, divorce and remarriage was facile for the women[339] The modern Uyghur dialect in Turfan uses the Arabic word for oppressed, maẓlum, to refer to "married old woman" and pronounce it as mäzim.[340] Woman were normally referred to as "oppressed person" (mazlum-kishi), 13 or 12 years old was the age of marriage for women in Khotan, Yarkand, and Kashgar.[341] Robert Barkley Shaw wrote that * Mazlúm, lit. "oppressed one," is used in Káshghar, &c., instead of the word woman."[342] A woman's robe was referred to as mazlúm-cha chappan.[343] Women were used for reproduction, sex, and housework.[344]

There was a very minimum female marriage age.[345] Marriage age for girls was 10 years old and for boys, 12 years old.[346] Before puberty commenced child marriages were practices with both boys and girls. Cousin marriages were practiced by the wealthy. There was no marriage between adherents of the Artish located pro-China Black Mountain and the Kucha located anti China White Mountain sects.[347] The label of "overripe" was placed on girls who were of ages 16 and 14 so girls were married off far younger with girl as young as age 8, which marked the time when husbands were sought out as suitable matches by parents.[348] The high amount of "child marriages" at an extreme young age led to high divorce rates.[349] Sometimes men aged 50 or 40 took young girls as brides in marriages set up by parents and this was criticized by the Uyghur Christian Nur Luke, who abandoned Islam.[279] It was demanded that married girls be confined to the house.[350] Marriages were arranged and arbitrated over due to financial and religious obligations from both parties.[351] Less complicated arrangements were made for widows and divorcees who wanted to marry again.[352] Public shaming was arranged for adulterers.[353] Ceremonies were held after the birth of a child.[354]

Uyghur sayings on women:[355][356][357][358]

Firewood serves for winter, a wife serves for her husband's pleasure. (Qişniŋ rahiti oton, ärniŋ rahiti xoton.)

Woman is the slave of the house. (Xotun kişi tüt tamniñ quli.)

Allah is God for a woman, the husband is half God. (Ayalniñ pütün xudasi XUDA, yärim Xudasi är.)

the first wife is a good woman, the second a witch, and the third a prostitute. (birgä täkkän yaxši, ikkigä täkkän baxši, üčkä täkkän paxši.)

A family with many women will be miserable. (Qizi barniñ därdi bar.)

Let your daughter marry or you will die of regret instead of illness. (Qiziñ Öyde ärsiz uzaq turmiğay, ölärsän puşaymanda sän ağirmay.)

Woman: long hair, short wit. (Xotun xäqniñ çaçi uzun, ä qli qisqa.)

A woman without a husband is like a horse without a halter. (Ärsiz xotun, yugänsiz baytal.)

Men rely on life, a wife relies on her husband. (Är jeni bilän, xişri äri bilän.)

After girls below the marriage age were illegally wedded to Uyghur men, prison sentences were handed out to them.[359]

AIDS and drugs

The "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" which supports the Turkistan Islamic Party, claimed that the AIDS virus was being used against Uyghurs.[360][361][362][363]

Fundamentalist Islamists prevent Uyghur women who are infected with HIV from getting drugs for their condition.[364]

Hui Muslim drug dealers are accused by Uyghurs of pushing heroin on Uyghurs.[365] Heroin has been vended by Hui dealers.[366] There is a typecast image in the public eye of heroin being the province of Hui dealers.[367] Hui have been involved in the Golden Triangle drug area.[368]

Reasons for ethnic tensions

Due to a price gouging scam involving a traditional Uyghur nut cake (Chinese: 切糕; pinyin: qiēgāo; literally: "nut cake") or (Chinese: 核桃糕; pinyin: hétao gāo; literally: "walnut cake") or 瑪仁糖 (Chinese: 瑪仁糖; pinyin: mǎréntáng) sold by Uyghur vendors called 切糕党 (Chinese: 切糕党; pinyin: qiēgāo dǎng; literally: "nut cake party"), ethnic tensions have risen.[369][370][371][372]

Yengisar (يېڭىسار, Йеңисар) is famous for manufacturing Uyghur handcrafted knives,[373][374] called "Yingjisha" knife (英吉沙刀) or (英吉沙小刀) in Chinese.[375][376][377][378][379] Uyghur artisan craftsmen in Yengisar are known for their knife manufacture. Uyghur men carrying knives on their body is a major part of Uyghur culture. The knives are intended to demonstrate the masculinity of the wearer.[380] and have led to an atmosphere of ethnic hostility.[381][382][383][384]

The Uyghur word for knife is pichaq (پىچاق, пичақ) and the word for knives is pichaqchiliq (پىچاقچىلىقى, пичақчилиқ).[385] Limitations were placed on knife vending due to terrorism and violent assaults where they were utilized.[386]

Pickpocketing conducted by groups of Uighurs including Uighur children who were sold to or kidnapped by gangs has raised animosity.[387][388][389]

Xibe people hold negative stereotypes of Uyghurs and tend to be against Uyghurs and group themselves with Han people isntead.[390]

A Uyghur proverb says "Protect religion, Kill the Han and destroy the Hui".(baohu zongjiao, sha Han mie Hui 保護宗教,殺漢滅回).[391][392]

Anti Hui poetry was written by Uyghurs.[393]

In Bayanday there is a brick factory,
it had been built by the Chinese.
If the Chinese are killed by soldiers,
the Tungans take over the plundering.

It was also alleged that a Uyghur would not enter the mosque of Hui people, and Hui and Han households were built closer together in the same area while Uyghurs would live farther away from the town.[393]

Sometimes Uyghurs regard Hui Muslims from other provinces of China as hostiles and refuse to eat food prepared by them.[394] Some Uyghurs view food prepared by Hui as unpure and will not buy meat from Hui, and protests by Uyghur teachers in 1989 at Turpan erupted because Uyghurs refused to eat food prepared by Hui.[395][396]

Children who are of mixed Han and Uyghur ethnicities are known as erzhuanzi (二转子) and Uyghurs call them piryotki.[395][397] They are shunned by Uyghurs at social gatherings and events.[398]

Tensions between Hui and Uyghurs arose because Qing and Republican Chinese authorities used Hui troops and officials to dominate the Uyghurs and crush Uyghur revolts.[399]

There was a 1.7 growth in the Uyghur population in Xinjiang while there was a 4.4% growth from 1940–1982 in the Hui population in Xinjiang. Uyghur Muslims and Hui Muslims have experienced a growth in major tensions against each other due to the Hui population surging in its growth. Some old Uyghurs in Kashgar remember that the Hui army at the Battle of Kashgar (1934) massacred 2,000 to 8,000 Uyghurs, which caused tension as more Hui moved into Kashgar from other parts of China.[400] Some Hui criticize Uyghur separatism, Dru C. Gladney said the Hui "don't tend to get too involved in international Islamic conflict, They don't want to be branded as radical Muslims."[401][402] Hui and Uyghur live separately, attending different mosques.[403]

Han and Hui intermarry with each other much more than Hui do with Uyghurs, despite Hui and Uyghur both being Muslim, and according to Uyghurs, Hui marriages with Uyghur frequently break apart and end in divorce.[404]

Uyghur views by oasis

Uyghur views vary by the oasis they live in. China has historically favored Turpan and Hami. Uyghurs in Turfan and Hami and their leaders like Emin Khoja allied with the Qing against Uyghurs in Altishahr. During the Qing dynasty, China enfeoffed the rulers of Turpan and Hami (Kumul) as autonomous princes, while the rest of the Uyghurs in Altishahr (the Tarim Basin) were ruled by Begs.[405] Uyghurs from Turpan and Hami were appointed by China as officials to rule over Uyghurs in the Tarim Basin. Turpan is more economically prosperous and views China more positively than the rebellious Kashgar, which is the most anti-China oasis. Uyghurs in Turpan are treated leniently and favourably by China with regards to religious policies, while Kashgar is subjected to controls by the government.[406][407] In Turpan and Hami, religion is viewed more positively by China than religion in Kashgar and Khotan in southern Xinjiang.[408] Both Uyghur and Han Communist officials in Turpan turn a blind eye to the law and allow religious Islamic education for Uyghur children.[409][410] Celebrating at religious functions and going on Hajj to Mecca is encouraged by the Chinese government, for Uyghur members of the Communist party. From 1979–1989, 350 mosques were built in Turpan.[411] Han, Hui, and the Chinese government are viewed much more positively by Uyghurs specifically in Turpan, with the government providing better economic, religious, and political treatment for them.[412] There were 20,000 mosques representing a 5.8 times of increase in total in Xinjiang in 1989.[273]:236– Until separatist disturbances flared in 1996, China was lenient and allowed people to ignore the rule prohibiting government officials from observing religion.[273]:237– New, big mosques have been financially assisted in being built by the Chinese government in Urumqi.[273]:238– While in southern Xinjiang China implements strong rules regarding religion, in Urumqi, China treats the Uyghurs and religion lax and permissively.[273]:240–


In Xinjiang, Communist Party members and civil servants who are employees of the government are not allowed to participate in religious activities while ordinary private citizens are allowed to practice religion and fast in Ramadan, students in public government directed schools are discouraged from participating in religious activities but not banned from doing so, the policy pertains to all religions- members of the Communist party are not allowed to carry out Daoist practices like Feng Shui.[413]

The suppression of the Uyghurs has more to do with the fact that they are separatist, rather than Muslim. China banned a book titled Xing Fengsu (Sexual Customs) which insulted Islam and placed its authors under arrest in 1989 after protests in Lanzhou and Beijing by Chinese Hui Muslims, during which the Chinese police provided protection to the Hui Muslim protestors, and the Chinese government organized public burnings of the book.[414][415][416][417][418] The Chinese government assisted them and gave into their demands because Hui do not have a separatist movement, unlike the Uyghurs,[419] Hui Muslim protestors who violently rioted by vandalizing property during the protests against the book were let off by the Chinese government and went unpunished while Uyghur protestors were imprisoned.[420]

In 2007, anticipating the coming "Year of the Pig" in the Chinese calendar, depictions of pigs were banned from CCTV "to avoid conflicts with ethnic minorities".[421] This is believed to refer to China's population of 20 million Muslims as pigs are considered unclean in Islam.

Although religious education for children is officially forbidden by law in China, the Communist party allows Hui Muslims to violate this law and have their children educated in religion and attend mosques while the law is enforced on Uyghurs. After secondary education is completed, China then allows Hui students who are willing to embark on religious studies under an Imam.[422] China does not enforce the law against children attending mosques on non-Uyghurs in areas outside of Xinjiang.[423][424] Since the 1980s Islamic private schools have been supported and permitted by the Chinese government among Muslim areas, only specifically excluding Xinjiang from allowing these schools because of separatist sentiment there.[lower-alpha 3]

Hui Muslims who are employed by the state are allowed to fast during Ramadan unlike Uyghurs in the same positions, the amount of Hui going on Hajj is expanding, and Hui women are allowed to wear veils, while Uyghur women are discouraged from wearing them.[426]

Different Muslim ethnic groups in different regions are treated differently by the Chinese government in regards to religious freedom. Religious freedom is present for Hui Muslims, who can practice their religion, build mosques, and have their children attend mosques, while more controls are placed specifically on Uyghurs in Xinjiang.[423]

Hui religious schools are allowed and a massive autonomous network of mosques and schools run by a Hui Sufi leader Hong Yan was formed with the approval of the Chinese government even as he admitted to attending an event where Osama bin Laden spoke and also came into contact with other fundamentalist clerics while studying about Islam for 5 years in Pakistan.[427][428]

The Diplomat reported on the fact that while Uyghur's religious activities are curtailed, Hui Muslims are granted widespread religious freedom and that therefore the policy of the Chinese government towards Uyghurs in Xinjiang is not directed against Islam, but rather aggressively stamping out the Uyghur separatist threat.[429]

The Uyghur terrorist organization East Turkestan Islamic Movement's magazine Islamic Turkistan has accused the Chinese "Muslim Brotherhood" (the Yihewani) of being responsible for the moderation of Hui Muslims and the lack of Hui joining terrorist jihadist groups in addition to blaming other things for the lack of Hui Jihadists, such as the fact that for more than 300 years Hui and Uyghurs have been enemies of each other, no separatist Islamist organizations among the Hui, the fact that the Hui view China as their home, and the fact that the "infidel Chinese" language is the language of the Hui.[430][431]

Even among Hui Salafis and Uyghur Salafis, there is little coordination or cooperation and the two take totally different political agendas, with the Hui Salafists content to carry out their own teachings and remain politically neutral.[432]

Support for East Turkestan independence

Soviet Union

The Soviet Union supported the Uyghur Second East Turkestan Republic in the Ili Rebellion against the Republic of China. According to her autobiography, Dragon Fighter: One Woman's Epic Struggle for Peace with China, Rebiya Kadeer's father served with pro-Soviet Uyghur rebels under the Second East Turkestan Republic in the Ili Rebellion (Three Province Rebellion) in 1944–1946, using Soviet assistance and aid to fight the Republic of China government under Chiang Kai-shek.[433] Kadeer and her family were close friends with White Russian exiles living in Xinjiang and Kadeer recalled that many Uyghurs thought Russian culture was "more advanced" than that of the Uyghurs and they "respected" the Russians a lot.[434]

Many of the Turkic peoples of the Ili region of Xinjiang had close cultural, political, and economic ties with Russia and then the Soviet Union. Many of them were educated in the Soviet Union and a community of Russian settlers lived in the region. As a result, many of the Turkic rebels fled to the Soviet Union and obtained Soviet assistance in creating the Sinkiang Turkic People's Liberation Committee (STPNLC) in 1943 to revolt against Kuomintang rule during the Ili Rebellion.[435] The pro-Soviet Uyghur who later became leader of the revolt and the Second East Turkestan Republic, Ehmetjan Qasim, was Soviet educated and described as "Stalin's man".[436]

The Soviet Union incited separatist activities in Xinjiang through propaganda, encouraging Kazakhs to flee to the Soviet Union and attacking China. China responded by reinforcing the Xinjiang-Soviet border area specifically with Han Bingtuan militia and farmers.[437] The Soviets massively intensified their broadcasts inciting Uyghurs to revolt against the Chinese via Radio Tashkent since 1967 and directly harbored and supported separatist guerilla fighters to attack the Chinese border, in 1966 the amount of Soviet sponsored separatist attacks on China numbered 5,000.[438] The Soviets transmitted a radio broadcast from Radio Tashkent into Xinjiang on 14 May 1967, boasting of the fact that the Soviets had supported the Second East Turkestan Republic against China.[439] In addition to Radio Tashkent, other Soviet media outlets aimed at disseminating propaganda towards Uyghurs urging that they proclaim independence and revolt against China included Radio Alma-Ata and the Alma-Ata published Sherki Türkistan Evazi ("The Voice of Eastern Turkestan") (شەرقىي تۈركىستان ئاۋازى) newspaper.[440] After the Sino-Soviet split in 1962, over 60,000 Uyghurs and Kazakhs defected from Xinjiang to the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, in response to Soviet propaganda which promised Xinjiang independence. Uyghur exiles later threatened China with rumors of a Uyghur "liberation army" in the thousands that were supposedly recruited from Sovietized emigres.[441]

The Soviet Union was involved in funding and support to the East Turkestan People's Revolutionary Party (ETPRP), the largest militant Uyghur separatist organization in its time, to start a violent uprising against China in 1968.[442][443][444][445] In the 1970s, the Soviets also supported the United Revolutionary Front of East Turkestan (URFET) to fight against the Chinese.[446]

"Bloody incidents" in 1966–67 flared up as Chinese and Soviet forces clashed along the border as the Soviets trained anti-Chinese guerillas and urged Uyghurs to revolt against China, hailing their "national liberation struggle".[447] In 1969, Chinese and Soviet forces directly fought each other along the Xinjiang-Soviet border.[448][449]

The Soviet Union supported Uyghur nationalist propaganda and Uyghur separatist movements against China. The Soviet historians claimed that the Uyghur native land was Xinjiang and Uyghur nationalism was promoted by Soviet versions of history on turcology.[450] Soviet turcologists like D.I. Tikhonov wrote pro-independence works on Uyghur history and the Soviet supported Uyghur historian Tursun Rakhimov wrote more historical works supporting Uyghur independence and attacking the Chinese government, claiming that Xinjiang was an entity created by China made out of the different parts of East Turkestan and Zungharia.[451] These Soviet Uyghur historians were waging an "ideological war" against China, emphasizing the "national liberation movement" of Uyghurs throughout history.[452] The Soviet Communist Party supported the publication of works which glorified the Second East Turkestan Republic and the Ili Rebellion against China in its anti-China propaganda war.[453] Soviet propaganda writers wrote works claiming that Uyghurs lived better lives and were able to practice their culture only in Soviet Central Asia and not in Xinjiang.[454] In 1979 Soviet KGB agent Victor Louis wrote a thesis claiming that the Soviets should support a "war of liberation" against the "imperial" China to support Uighur, Tibetan, Mongol, and Manchu independence.[455][456] The Soviet KGB itself supported Uyghur separatists against China.[457] Among some Uyghurs, the Soviet Union was viewed extremely favorably and several of them believed that people of Turkic origin ruled the Soviet Union, claiming that one of these Turkic Soviet leaders was Mikhail Gorbachev.[458]

Uyghur nationalist historian Turghun Almas and his book Uyghurlar (The Uyghurs) and Uyghur nationalist accounts of history were galvanized by Soviet stances on history, "firmly grounded" in Soviet Turcological works, and both heavily influenced and partially created by Soviet historians and Soviet works on Turkic peoples.[459] Soviet historiography spawned the rendering of Uyghur history found in Uyghurlar.[460] Almas claimed that Central Asia was "the motherland of the Uyghurs" and also the "ancient golden cradle of world culture".[461]

Xinjiang's importance to China increased after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, leading to China's perception of being encircled by the Soviets.[462] The China supported the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet invasion, and broadcast reports of Soviet atrocities on Afghan Muslims to Uyghurs in order to counter Soviet propaganda broadcasts into Xinjiang, which boasted that Soviet minorities lived better and incited Muslims to revolt.[463] Chinese radio beamed anti-Soviet broadcasts to Central Asian ethnic minorities like the Kazakhs.[448] The Soviets feared disloyalty among the non-Russian Kazakh, Uzbek, and Kyrgyz in the event of Chinese troops attacking the Soviet Union and entering Central Asia. Russians were goaded with the taunt "Just wait till the Chinese get here, they'll show you what's what!" by Central Asians when they had altercations.[464] The Chinese authorities viewed the Han migrants in Xinjiang as vital to defending the area against the Soviet Union.[465] China opened up camps to train the Afghan Mujahideen near Kashgar and Khotan and supplied them with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of small arms, rockets, mines, and anti-tank weapons.[466][467]

A chain of aggressive and belligerent press releases in the 1990s making false claims about violent insurrections in Xinjiang, and exaggerating both the number of Chinese migrants and the total number of Uyghurs in Xinjiang were made by the former Soviet supported URFET leader Yusupbek Mukhlisi.[468][469]

After the establishment of the Soviet Union, many Uyghurs who studied in Soviet Central Asia added Russian suffixes to Russify their surnames and make them look Russian.[470] Urban Uyghurs sometimes select Russian names when naming their children, in cities such as Qaramay and Urumqi.[471]


1- Who are we? We are a group of workers for Islam and the Mujahideen for the cause of Allah to save the worshipers from the worshiping of worshipers [so that they can] worship the lord of the worshipers all over [the world] in general and Turkistan in particular. [This group] arose so that its members could cooperate on tawhid and purity and Allah-fearing and jihad for the cause of Allah, so as to liberate East Muslim Turkistan from the infidel Communist Chinese invasion and repulsing its invasion from religion of the Muslims and their honor and souls and money so as to establish Allah's pure religion, and empowering the Islamic Shari'a in Turkistan, and cooperate with the Mujahideen Muslims in the name of Allah all over the Muslim world to restore the wise Islamic caliphate and empower Allah's Shari'ah on the world.
The Media Center of the Turkistan Islamic Party.[472], Charter of the Turkistan Islamic Party
Third: Working and cooperating with all the Jihadi groups for the cause of Allah everywhere, so as to repulse the invasion of the infidel from them, and establishing Allah's Shar'iah everywhere. "Say thou: 'This is my way: I do invite unto Allah,- on evidence clear as the seeing with one's eyes,- I and whoever follows me. Glory to Allah. and never will I join gods with Allah.'" {Yusuf :108}"
The Media Center of the Turkistan Islamic Party.[472], Charter of the Turkistan Islamic Party
If you do not wage jihad, you will never be able to get rid of the oppression of the infidels which makes you abandon the religion and which makes slaves of you. Thus, you will not be able to be rescued from the oppression of this world and the torments of the hereafter, or find eternal happiness until you return to the religion of Allah...
Abdul Haq (Memetiming Memeti), a commander in the Uyghur separatist movement Turkistan Islamic Party (East Turkestan Islamic Movement), from a video released by TIP, February 9. 2009.[473]
We are, Allah-willing, proceeding along this path with all of our strength in order to rescue our oppressed brothers in East Turkistan – and Allah-willing, we are working on rescuing our oppressed brothers from the hands of the Communists until we make Allah's religion supreme and we live a precious life in the shadow of Islamic Shariah law, or else be rewarded with martyrdom in the cause of Allah We are plotting for the Chinese to suffer the torture of Allah, or else by our hands
Abdul Haq, leader of the Uyghur separatist movement Turkistan Islamic Party (East Turkestan Islamic Movement, "Steadfastness and Preparations for Jihad in the Cause of Allah." Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), 20 January 2009.[474]
Anyone who is familiar with the battles that the mujahideen are engaged in today will know that the path of Jihad is the only path to prevent attacks and injustice [against us]... and, the suffering of the Americans is on the rise in Iraq due to the operations of the mujahideen... As a result of these operations, America was forced to withdraw fr om Iraq, and still it has not learned its lesson. Today, it is once again drinking [from] the cup of failure in Afghanistan as it gasps for breath, [looking] to avoid defeat and withdrawal—and now it is fighting the dizziness of death. Those kind of results could never have been achieved with writings and speeches.

Meanwhile, with regards to the situation in East Turkestan which was once part of the Islamic nation and is now under the domination of the unjust infidel Communists, the confrontation is still ongoing between the mujahideen and the invading occupiers. And, Allah-willing, the operations of the mujahideen in East Turkestan will make the Chinese suffer just as America suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan, from shame, scandal, and defeat... In 1997, the mujahideen of East Turkestan gathered under the leadership of Commander Hasan Mahsum beyond the borders of our land, and they were graced by choosing the path of training within the shadow of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan— as they were prohibited and forbidden from doing so in their own country because of the Chinese occupation. We used to be able to live in our land, and we knew the ways of living, but we abandoned our homes in order to support the oppressed and to remove the injustices committed against all Muslims. [We left] in order to try and gain our sovereignty from communist China, and for the sake of providing our people a carefree and happy existence under the shadow of the Quran and Sunnah. During this period of time, a large number of mujahideen from East Turkestan received training... Later, during this critical period, the Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan was destroyed at the hands of the Zionist-Crusader assault launched under the lead of America... Nonetheless, the mujahideen of East Turkestan were able to continue their jihadi operations even after the collapse of the Islamic Emirate, thanks be to Allah.

TIP Narrator, "Steadfastness and Preparations for Jihad in the Cause of Allah." Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), 20 January 2009.[475]
We have to conquer our own country and purify it of all infidels. Then, we should conquer the infidels' countries and spread Islam. The infidels who are usurping our countries have announced war against Islam and Muslims, forcing Muslims to abandon Islam and change their beliefs.
Abdullah Mansour, leader of the Uyghur separatist movement Turkistan Islamic Party (East Turkestan Islamic Movement), "The Duty of Faith and Support," Voice of Islam/al-Fajr Media Center, August 26, 2009.[476]
Flag of Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (Turkistan Islamic Party) is allied with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan[477] along with the Pakistani Taliban (Tehreek i Taliban Pakistan)[478] and Al-Qaeda.[479]

The organization renamed itself the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and abandoned usage of the name ETIM, although China still calls it by the name ETIM and refuses to acknowledge it as TIP.[480] The Turkistan Islamic Party was originally subordinated to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) but then split off and declared its name as TIP and started making itself known by promoting itself with its Islamic Turkistan magazine and Voice of Islam media in Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and Turkish in order to reach out to global jihadists.[481] Control over the Uyghur and Uzbek militants was transferred to the Pakistani Taliban from the Afghan Taliban after 2001, so violence against the militant's countries of origins can no longer restrained by the Afghan Taliban since the Pakistani Taliban does not have a stake in doing so.[482] TIP's Ṣawt al-Islām (Voice of Islam) media arm has released many video messages.[483][484][485][486][487] The full name of their media center is "Turkistan Islamic Party Voice of Islam Media Center" Uyghur: (تۈركىستان ئىسلام پارتىيىسى ئىسلام ئاۋازى تەشۋىقات مەركىزى) Arabic: («المركز الإعلامي للحزب الإسلامي التركستاني «صوت الإسلام).

The Shura Majlis of Al Qaeda included TIP (ETIM) member Abdul Haq al Turkistani.[488] Al Qaeda also appointed TIP (ETIM) member Abdul Shakoor Turkistani as military commander of their forces in the FATA region of Pakistan.[489]

TIP (ETIM) issued a eulogy for Doku Umarov of the Caucasian Emirate upon his death.[490][491][492]

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri released a statement supporting Jihad in Xinjiang against Chinese, in the Caucasus against the Russians and naming Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan as places of warfare.[493] Zawahiri endorsed "jihad to liberate every span of land of the Muslims that has been usurped and violated, from Kashgar to Andalusia, and from the Caucasus to Somalia and Central Africa".[494] Uyghurs inhabit Kashgar, the city which was mentioned by Zawahiri.[495] Zawahiri released another statement, saying: "My mujahideen brothers in all places and of all groups ... we face aggression from America, Europe, and Russia ... so it's up to us to stand together as one from East Turkestan to Morocco".[496][497][498][499]

TIP released an image showing Al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri meeting with Hasan Mahsum, the original and first leader of the Turkistan Islamic Party.[500] For a while after he died, Osama bin Laden's successor was believed by some to be the ETIM leader Abdul Shakoor Turkistani because jihadist organizations have been powerfully influenced by ETIM.[501]

Al-Qaeda ideologue Mustafa Setmariam Nasar wrote in support of the East Turkestan Independence Movement.[502] Mustafa Setmariam Nasar had met some of these Uyghurs in Afghanistan where they trained as mujahidin.[503] In 2006 Kavkaz Center reported that Al-Qaeda media arm Al-Fajr released a video urging Muslims to go on Jihad in support of the East Turkestan Independence Movement.[504]

Al-Qaeda aligned al-Fajr Media Center distributes TIP material.[505]

Al-Qaeda member Abu Yahya al-Libi spoke in support of "Jihad" in "East Turkestan" against China.[506][507][508][509][510][511][512] Turkistanis were among ten Al-Qaeda allies who were killed alongside Abu Sahil al-Libi and Abu Laith al-Libi.[513] Al-Qaeda leader Atiyyatullah Al-Libi's advice was published in Turkistan Islamic Party's magazine "Turkistan Al-Islamiyya".[514]

Islamist Hani al-Sibai spoke in support of the East Turkestan Independence Movement.[515]

The TIP has some members of other ethnicities besides the Uighur, a TIP suicide bomber in Afghanistan who attacked American troops was Nuruddin, a Turkish militant and he advocated that Turks and Uighurs mount "Islamic flags at the White House and Beijing's Tiananmen Square" while a TIP Kazakh member named Uspan Batir made an appearance in a video and said

There is a line artificially drawn by the infidel in between us—saying you are from Kazakhstan, Turkistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan—there is a line drawn artificially by the infidel, my brothers . . . The religion never came only to Kazakhs, it did not come only to Uighurs, and it did not come only to Arabs . . . Do not separate. Allah said, you do not separate to say that 'you are Kazakhstan, you are Turkistan and you are Uzbekistan.'[481]

TIP's "Islamic Turkistan" magazine praised the Taliban and "mujahideen" for what it called the "humiliating" of America in Afghanistan and boasted that American suffered over 17 billion dollars of damage of "physical and military losses" and "ten thousand soldiers" dead at the hands of Arab and non-Arab "mujahideen".[516]

The Turkish TIP suicide bomber Nuruddin called for expulsion of "Crusader" and "Buddhist" "infidels", and called "Andalusia, East Turkistan, Chechyna, South Africa" as "lands of Islam".[517] Nuruddin said that Allah "blesses" the "Jihad" in Somalia, Iraq, Chechnya, Yemen and other places and that the "Muslim Mujahideen" were fighting NATO and America.[518][519] Nuruddin asked for more Turkish foreign fighters.[520] He also asked for funding from Turkish people.[521] In Afghanistan there are other Turkish members of TIP.[522][523] Ebu Bekir Et Turki committed the suicide attack along with Nuruddin.[524] TIP released a video of the TIP fighters Usame El Kurdi and Ebu Bekir Turki singing a nasheed in Afghanistan.[525] A TIP member from Kazakhstan called Abduşşehit Turkistani was killed in Afghanistan.[526][527] Nuruddin called for the destruction of other religions and for the world to be dominated by Islam.[528]

The Turkistan Islamic Party issued condolences for Taliban leader Mullah Omar upon his death.[529]

With the goal of establishing a Central Asian Islamic state, Uyghurs, Chechens, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kyrgyz Kazakhs, and other ethnicities flocked to serve under Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader Juma Namangani.[530]

During the Battle of Kunduz in Afghanistan, foreign Islamist militants like Uyghurs, Chechens, Rohingya, Kyrgyz, Tajiks, and Uzbeks joined the Taliban in the attack.[531][532][533][534][535][536] The Pakistani Army's Operation Zarb e Azb appears to have driven these foreign militants from Pakistan's northwestern area of Waziristan into Afghanistan.[537][538] Non-Afghan militants like Arabs, Tajiks, Chechens, Uyghurs, Uzbeks, and Pakistanis make up 40% of anti-government fighters in Afghanistan according to Dawlat Waziri, a member of the Defense Ministry of Afghanistan.[539][540][541][542] These militants cause a surge in fighting in 2015.[543] Uyghurs, Chechens, and Uzbeks made up the majority of casualties in clashes against Afghan National Security Forces.[544]

The Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria uses the Jihadist Shahada flag with the name of the group in Arabic below the shahada: (الحزب الإسلامي التركستاني لنصرة أهل الشام) "Turkistan Islamic Party for the Support of the People of al-Sham". TIP in Syria also calls itself by the name of "Turkistan Islamic Party in the land of al-Sham" (الحزب الإسلامي التركستاني في بلاد الشام). A Jabhat al Nusra member named Abu Rabah helped Uyghur militants start their first camp in Syria and a Turkish language website based in Turkey was launched to recruit "Uyghur mujahideen" to fight in Syria for the Al-Qaeda affiliated Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party.[545] TIP (ETIM) sent the "Turkistan Brigade" (Katibat Turkistani) (Arabic:كتيبة تركستاني) to take part in the Syrian Civil War,[546][547][548][549] most noticeably in the 2015 Jisr al-Shughur offensive.[550][551][552][553][554][555][556] Al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria include the Syrian branch of the Chechen Caucasus Emirate, Uzbek militants, and the Turkistan Islamic Party.[557] The leader of TIP (ETIM) in Syria was Abu Rida al-Turkestani (أبو رضا التركستاني).[558][559] Abu Rida Al-Turkestani gave a speech during the offensive in Jisr al-Shughur inviting "Muslims" from "East Turkestan" to come to Sham in order to "kill" "Nusayris" (Alawites).[560] Abu Rida al-Turkestani gave a speech denouncing America and claiming Muslims are oppressed "in the land of Afghanistan, and in Turkestan, and in Waziristan, and in Burma, and in Bilad ash-Sham"[561] In May 2015 in Jisr al-Shugour the Syrian army killed Abu Rida al-Turkestani near a hospital.[562][563][564][565] TIP (ETIM) members in Syria fight alongside the Al-Qaeda branch Al Nusrah Front since TIP is allied to Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan and conducted suicide bombings for Nusrah Front.[566] The Turkistan Islamic Party (Uighur), Al-Katibat al-Tawhid wal Jihad (Uzbek) and Junud al-Sham (Chechen) all coordinate with Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Al-Nusra in Syria.[567][568] Members of TIP have been killed in battle in Syria.[569] TIP (ETIM) eulogized and applauded members of its organization who participated in suicide bombings and members who were killed in action in Jisr al Shughur.[570] Members of the group helped other Jihadists enforce religious law in Idlib such as wrecking alcohol in stores and this was noted that with "support of Allah and by the strike of the fist of the Mujahideen from the Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham and Turkistan," that they undertook these actions by a Syrian Jihadist in Jaysh al Fateh.[571] A Jabhat Al Nusra Jihadist called Abu Mohamed Al-Ansari interviewed by VICE News after the Idlib offensive said that "The battle was good, praise be to God. The brothers from all the groups started working together and coordinating. Each faction is responsible for a side. The majority were immigrant brothers from Turkestan. They are the ones who attacked the important points."[572][573] The spokesman of Jabhat Al-Nusra Abu Maria al-Qahtani claimed that Muslims were "oppressed" in "Turkestan" and that Nusra needs to "defend" them.[574][575] TIP (ETIM) joined in on the Jihadist offensive in the Al-Ghab plain along with Al-Qaeda affiliated Jund al Aqsa against the Syrian army, referring to the Syrian army by the disparaging name "Nusayri".[576][577][578] In Idlib four villages were seized by the Turkistan Islamic Party around August 2015.[579] and the TIP said they "met with the brothers in Jund al Aqsa".[580] The villages of Al-Ziyarah, Mishk, and Tal Wassit were taken by the TIP in August 2015 and TIP boasted that "With the favor of Allah and his support our Mujahideen brothers took war booty from the infidels" (بفضل الله ونصره إخواننا المجاهدون أخذوا الغنائم من الكفار).[581][582] TIP also seized the village of Zayzun in August.[583] The village Qarqur was also taken by the TIP.[584][585] A BMP was destroyed by TIP at Qarqur.[586] The village of Mansura, Hama fell to the TIP which released a video showing battlefield wreckage and boasted that "these are the BMPs and the tanks of the infidels destroyed by the Mujahideen". (هذه ب م ب والدبابات للكفار دمرت من قبل المجاهدين).[587] The villages of Muhambal, Msheirfeh, and Farikah fell to the TIP.[588] The villages of Tal Himka (Tal Hamkeh), Tal Awar (تل عوار), Ziadiyah (زياديه) and Mahattat Zayzun w:ar:المحطة الحرارية (زيزون) fell to the TIP.[589] The Turkistan Islamic Party and Jabhat Al-Nusra launched a joint operation which overran the Syrian military's Abu Dhuhur airbase during the Siege of Abu al-Duhur Airbase.[590][591][592][593][594][595] The Turkistan Islamic Party released photos of their Uyghur fighters at Abu Dhuhur.[596][597][598][599][600][601][602][603] At Abu Dhuhur, Sheikh Muhaysini (an Al-Qaeda linked Saudi cleric) took pictures with Turkistan Islamic Party which was released by Islam Awazi.[604] Syrian regime military prisoners from Abu Dhuhur were exhibited in photos released by the Turkistan Islamic Party.[605] A video released by Turkistan Islamic Party featured Junud al-Sham deputy leader Abu Bakr al Shishani.[606] The Turkistan Islamic Party's Islam Awazi released photos of its fighters in Syria.[607]

After the Russian military intervention in the Syrian Civil War, TIP's Islam Awazi released photos and a video of its fighters in Al Ghab on the battlefield with captions that said: "standing up strongly to the Nusayri army and the Russians." (المجاهدين التركستانيين يتصدى بقوة للجيش النصيري ومن قبل الروس).[608][609][610][611] A second video of the battle in al Ghab was released by TIP.[612][613][614][615][616][617][618][619][620][621][622] In response to the Russian-backed offensive by the Syrian Army, the Turkistan Islamic Party sent fighters to the Ghab Plain to support rebels in fighting against the Syrian Army, Iranian, and Hezbollah forces.[610][623][624] The Syria-based, Al-Qaeda linked Saudi cleric Abdullah Muhammad Al-Muhaysini arranged for foreign fighters of multiple backgrounds to repeat the phrase "The Levant is the graveyard of the Russians", in a video message, among them was a fighter claiming to be from "East Turkestan".[625]

TIP's Islam Awazi released a photo showing the corpse of a beheaded Syrian army soldier, captioned : "The annihilation of one from the Nusayri regime gangs at the hands of the mujahideen - Ghamaam in Jebel Turkman" (هلاك أحد عصابات النظام النصيري على ايدي المجاهدين - غمام جبل التركمان ).[626][627]

TIP released a photo of a rocket captioned : "Side of the rocket which bombarded the mujahideen but did not explode due to the favor of Allah - Ghamaam in Jebel Turkman" (جانب من الصاروخ الذي استهدف المجاهدين ولم ينفجر بفضل لله - غمام جبل التركمان).[628][629] TIP released photos of uniforms, weapons, and ammunition captioned : "The war booty which was captured by the mujahideen from the axis - Ghamaam in Jebel Turkman"(الغنائم التي إغتنمها المجاهدون من محور غمام في جبل التركمان).[630][631]

TIP's Islam Awazi media arm released photos of its members who carried out suicide bombings, Dadullah Turkistani[632][633] and Abdulbasit (Turguncan) Turkistani.[634] The TIP released pictures of dead Syrian soldiers they killed.[635] Islam Awazi released photos of its own dead members killed in Syria, Abbas Turkistani,[636] Ebu Firat Turkistani,[637] Zübeyir Turkistani,[638] Salim Turkistani,[639] Abdul Muhsin Turkistani,[640] and Ebu Jendel Turkistani.[641]

TIP's Islam Awazi media arm released photos of its fighters in al-Ghab.[642][643]

TIP released a video and photos of its "jihad" in "Ghab Plain Operation 3" against Assad's Syrian army.[644] "Ghab Plain Operation 4"[645][646]

A photo was released by the TIP showing a gas mask being used in Hama by a Turkistan Islamic Party militant.[647]

A mass execution of 56 captured Syrian soldiers was carried out by the Turkestan Islamic Party along with Jabhat al-Nusra at Abu al-Duhur.[648][649][650]

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Chechens who defected to ISIS were replaced with the Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party allied with Al-Qaeda.[651]

Uyghurs operate two Jihadist training camps in Syria.[652] On 17 August 2013 the website Jihadology posted the March 2013 issue of TIP's Islamic Turkistan Arabic: (تركستان الإسلامية) Uyghur: (ئىسلامى تۈركىستان) magazine in which TIP displayed its fighters and their families, wives, and children in Syria on the side of the rebels.[653][654]

One of Sayfullakh Shishani's fighters in Jabhat al-Nusra claimed that a united faction called al-Muhajireen was formed out of the unification of the Uyghur Turkistan, Uzbek Abu Salyaha and Al-Bukhari, Ahlu Sunnah wal-Jama'a, and Jaish al-Muhajireen wal Ansar.[655]

Katiba Turkistan joined with Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Junud al-Sham against the Syrian army in the battle for Jisr al-Shughur.[656]

Arab news agencies reported that the Uyghurs in TIP, the Chechens in Junud Al Sham, Jabhat Al Nusra and Ahrar al Sham are being coordinated by Turkish intelligence to work with the Army of Conquest.[657]

Syrian Churches have been demolished by Turkistan Islamic Party Uyghur fighters, who exalted in the acts of destruction, and in Homs and Idlib battlefields the Turkistan Islamic Party cooperated with Uzbek brigades and Jabhat al-Nusra, Jabhat al-Nusra and IS (ISIL) compete with each other to recruit Uyghur fighters.[658] In Jisr al-Shughur a Church's cross had a TIP flag placed on top of it after the end of the battle.[659][660]

The Turkistan Islamic Party has participated in besieging the Shiite villages Fua'a and Kafriyeh.[661][662]

Turkish connections were used by Uyghur fighters to go into Syria and the humanitarian Uyghur Eastern Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) which is located in Turkey sent Uyghurs into Syria, endorsed the murder of the pro-China Imam Juma Tayir, applauded terrorist attacks in China, and posted on its website content from the terrorist organization TIP.[663]

On a communique dated to Wednesday, 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah 1436 Hijra TIP's Islam Awazi media arm stated that

This year is drawing to a close and we thank Allah for what He has blessed us with conquests, victories, and glory. 'We your brothers the Mujahideen of Turkistan are continuing in the liberation of the land of al-Sham and proceeding in our jihad for the sake of Allah to liberate every last inch of the land of al-Sham, with permission from Allah.[664][665][666]

As part of an effort to reach out to foreign Muslims, on the Ink of Swords (Medad al-Sayouf) Network, an Arabic language magazine titled "Islamic Turkistan" (Turkistan al-Islamia) (تركستان الإسلامية) was issued by ETIM in January 2009 and it described ETIM as "a group of workers for Islam and the mujahideen in the Cause of Allah in order to liberate Turkistan", and said that the aim of ETIM was to "establish an Islamic Caliphate in the light of the Book and the Sunnah", "in the Cause of Allah, promotion of virtue, prevention of vice, and the call to Allah.", to create an Islamic State by means of jihad.[667]

Fellow Al-Qaeda aligned Islamist organizations with the aim of a worldwide Islamic Caliphate cooperate with TIP (ETIM) whose own goal is an Islamic State, with TIP fighting against the militaries of Syria and Pakistan in addition to China and being assisted by Central Asian, Gulf, European, and North American based outfits and the TIP leader Abdullah Mansour used the words "mujahideen" and "jihadi operation" in a Uighur language video produced by TIP's Islam Awazi (Uyghur: ئىسلام ئاۋازى) Ṣawt al-Islām (Arabic:صوت الإسلام) Media Center when TIP took responsibility for the 29 October 2013 Tianmen Square terrorist attack.[668]

Islam Awazi released a video called "We Are Coming O Buddhists" (نحن قادمون أيّها البوذيون) of a TIP affiliated Rohingya cleric named Sheikh Abu Dhar 'Azzam (أبو ذر عزام) (Abu Dhar al-Burmi) who also called for the killing of Buddhists in addition to Chinese, saying in Arabic that "Killing you... Slaughtering you... And cutting off your heads is all good", "Kill you, spill your blood, cut off your head is a good thing", the unedited message said "We are Muslims, and you are our enemies oh Buddhists and Chinese: You will not see us and killing you, and spilling your blood, and cutting your heads of: all of it is good, insha Allah" ( نحن مسلمون، ولو كنتم أعداءنا أيُّها البوذيون والصينيون: لن تروا منا إلا خيرًا، وقتلكم وإسالة دمائكم، وقطع رؤوسكم: كله خير إن شاء الله.ـ) on 24 February 2014, he also said "we are a nation that loves death while you are a nation that loves wine and women, and we are coming insha Allah, we want to kill Buddhists to the east of this land and to the west of it". ( إننا قوم نحب الموت كما تحبون الخمر والنساء، وإننا قادمون إن شاء الله، نحن نريد أن نقتل البوذيين في شرق الأرض وغربها.ـ), he also said "those Chinese Buddhists, their small eyes, flat noses. Judgment day will not come, until we attacked them. Judgment day will not come, until we slaughter them. Judgment day will not come, until our war with them and attacking them." ( وأوصيكم بأن هؤلاء الصينيين البوذيين صغار الأعين فطس الأنوف: لا تقوم الساعة حتى نقاتلهم، لا تقوم الساعة حتى نذبحهم، لا تقوم الساعة حتى نتلاحم معهم، ونقاتل ضدهم.ـ)[669][670] In the Turkistan Islamic Party's Turkestan Al-Islamiyya magazine, Issue 13, Abu Dhar 'Azzam (Abu Dhar Al-Burmi) congratulated the Tsarnaev brothers on their terrorist attack in the Boston Marathon bombing, saying

In the very house of unbelief, two Chechen brothers destroyed the infidels' fortresses on April 16, 2013. During the [ensuing] search [by the authorities for the perpetrators], the elder brother died as a martyr in the field of glory and honor, Allah willing. The younger brother, Dzokhar, remained, and told his dear nation: 'We did this operation as revenge for what America does in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan.' He didn't mention his homeland Chechnya, since this jihad is a jihad of [an entire] nation, not [a campaign] for the liberation of a single land.... The Muslims' lands are one and their honor is one.[671]

Abu Dhar Azzam called upon Muslims to attack Germany, China, and Burma, saying:

Rise O servants of Allah to help your brothers and sisters!, Rise to save your sons and daughters! Do your best in jihad, O guardians of creed and [monotheism], against the enemies of Allah the idolatrous Buddhists, and target the most important installations of Burma, China and Germany, and their interests and the interests of the United Nations, which supports these massacres and this genocide in Arakan.[672]

Abu Dhar 'Azzam featured in a video released by TIP titled "We Have To Empower Islam In the Depths Of Our Hearts".[673]

The Hadith collection Sahih al-Bukhari records a Sahih Hadith by Muhammad on the Turks:

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Turks; people with small eyes, red faces, and flat noses. Their faces will look like shields coated with leather. The Hour will not be established till you fight with people whose shoes are made of hair." (حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، عَنْ صَالِحٍ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، قَالَ قَالَ أَبُو هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم " لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تُقَاتِلُوا التُّرْكَ صِغَارَ الأَعْيُنِ، حُمْرَ الْوُجُوهِ، ذُلْفَ الأُنُوفِ، كَأَنَّ وُجُوهَهُمُ الْمَجَانُّ الْمُطَرَّقَةُ، وَلاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تُقَاتِلُوا قَوْمًا نِعَالُهُمُ الشَّعَرُ ".)[674]

Another Sahih al-Bukhari Hadith says:

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "The Hour will not be established till you fight a nation wearing hairy shoes, and till you fight the Turks, who will have small eyes, red faces and flat noses; and their faces will be like flat shields. And you will find that the best people are those who hate responsibility of ruling most of all till they are chosen to be the rulers. And the people are of different natures: The best in the pre-Islamic period are the best in Islam. A time will come when any of you will love to see me rather than to have his family and property doubled." (حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْيَمَانِ، أَخْبَرَنَا شُعَيْبٌ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الزِّنَادِ، عَنِ الأَعْرَجِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ ـ رضى الله عنه ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تُقَاتِلُوا قَوْمًا نِعَالُهُمُ الشَّعَرُ، وَحَتَّى تُقَاتِلُوا التُّرْكَ، صِغَارَ الأَعْيُنِ، حُمْرَ الْوُجُوهِ، ذُلْفَ الأُنُوفِ كَأَنَّ وُجُوهَهُمُ الْمَجَانُّ الْمُطْرَقَةُ ". "«وَتَجِدُونَ مِنْ خَيْرِ النَّاسِ أَشَدَّهُمْ كَرَاهِيَةً لِهَذَا الأَمْرِ، حَتَّى يَقَعَ فِيهِ، وَالنَّاسُ مَعَادِنُ، خِيَارُهُمْ فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ خِيَارُهُمْ فِي الإِسْلاَمِ." "وَلَيَأْتِيَنَّ عَلَى أَحَدِكُمْ زَمَانٌ لأَنْ يَرَانِي أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَهْلِهِ وَمَالِهِ.").[675]

A Sahih Hadith is also found in Sunan Nasai:

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "The Hour will not begin until the Muslims fight the Turks, a people with faces like hammered shields who wear clothes made of hair and shoes made of hair." (أَخْبَرَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ، عَنْ سُهَيْلٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يُقَاتِلَ الْمُسْلِمُونَ التُّرْكَ قَوْمًا وُجُوهُهُمْ كَالْمَجَانِّ الْمُطَرَّقَةِ يَلْبَسُونَ الشَّعَرَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِي الشَّعَرِ " .)[676]

A Sahih Hadith is also found in Abu Dawud:

Abu Hurairah reported the Prophet (May peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight with the Turks, a people whose faces look as if they were shields covered with skin, and who will wear sandals of hair. (حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ، - يَعْنِي الإِسْكَنْدَرَانِيَّ - عَنْ سُهَيْلٍ، - يَعْنِي ابْنَ أَبِي صَالِحٍ - عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ " لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى يُقَاتِلَ الْمُسْلِمُونَ التُّرْكَ قَوْمًا وُجُوهُهُمْ كَالْمَجَانِّ الْمُطْرَقَةِ يَلْبَسُونَ الشَّعْرَ " .)[677]

In 2013 Islam Awazi released footage of Uyghur TIP members fighting against the Afghan National Army.[678] Islam Awazi released a video of fighters training in eastern Afghanistan.[679] A video released by Islam Awazi showed TIP members ambushing a bomb disposal unit in Afghanistan which was unarmed.[680] One video released by Islam Awazi showed one of their members being knocked over and killed by the SPG-9 he was firing, accompanied by the phrase Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'un in Arabic.[681] TIP released old photos of Uyghur fighters in Afghanistan during the Taliban's rule.[682][683] TIP released photos of dead Afghan soldiers they killed.[684]

Islam Awazi released photos of a Turkistan Islamic Party training camp.[685]

Images of Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party fighters in Syria were released by Islam Awazi.[686] The Turkistan Islamic Party released photos showing a Uyghur media team with their camera and laptop in Syria.[687]

TIP released a video titled "Message to the Mujāhidīn of the Caucasus".[688]

TIP released a video titled "Advice to Our Muslim Brothers in Turkey".[689]

The TIP in Syria released a video series called "Lovers of Paradise".[690]

The TIP in Syria released a video series called "Blessings for the strangers" (طوبى للغرباء).[665][691][692][693][694][695][696][697][698] In the second video of the series, the leader of TIP in Syria Abu Rida al-Turkestani read out a document with an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) letterhead, detailing the history of the founding of the Turkistan Islamic Party by Hasan Mahsum and "East Turkstani immigrants" when they moved to Taliban controlled Afghanistan, gave allegiance to Mullah Omar and founded the organization.[694]

The TIP in Syria released a series of photographs titled "Pictures from the land of the Epic Battles (Malaahim)" (صور من أرض الملاحم).[699][700][701][702][703][704][705][706][707] TIP also released photographs under the Turkish title "Nadir Suretler".[708][709][710][711]

TIP's Islam Awazi released a "Visual Nasheed" (النشيد المرئي) titled "Wake Up Oh Muslim Ummah" (استيقظي يا أمة الإسلام).[712][713][714][715][716] The end of the nasheed video featured TIP fighters burning a Syrian flag, the burning of a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and footage of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, with the Uyghur language subtitles of the nasheed referring to the "Kafirlar" (كافرلار) (infidels) when the destruction of the World Trade Center towers was shown on the video.[717]

TIP's Islam Awazi released a "Visual Nasheed" (النشيد المرئي) titled "Return to Your Religion" (إرجع الى دينك).[718][719][719][720][721]

It was announced that TIP's "Voice of Islam" media would be solely released on Twitter, Shamoukh, and Fida'a via the "Global Islamic Media Front".[722]

TIP released a Nasheed "The Sacrificer of Self for God".[723]

TIP released a Nasheed "If I Was Killed".[724]

TIP released a Nasheed "Told From Me, Oh My Father".[725]

TIP released a Nasheed "Your Giving to the Lord".[726]

TIP released a Nasheed "You Should Realize, Oh His Mother, Verily Your Son Is In the Way of God".[727]

TIP released a Nasheed "Lions of Turkistān".[728]>

The Turkistan Islamic Party released a video titled "A Message to the Turkestanis" (رسالة الى التركستانيين) featuring Abdullah Al-Muhaysini, an Al-Qaeda cleric of Saudi origin.[729] Muhaysini urged the "Turkistani Musims" to raise their children to love death like "infidels" love life.[730] "Turkistani" is used as an alternate ethonym for "Uyghur" by some Uyghurs.[474][731]

The Turkistan Islamic Party released a new video titled "Importance of Martyrdom Operations in Our Current Time" (أهمية العمليات الإستشهادية في زمننا الحاضر) (زامانىمىزدىكى پىدائىيلىق ئەمەلىيىتىنىڭ ئەھمىيىتى) by Abdullah al-Muhaysini.[732][733][734][735][736]

The Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria released a "Visual Nasheed" (النشيد المرئي) titled "The Martyrs" (الشهداء) (شەھىدلەر) showing dead Turkistan Islamic Party militants who were killed in Syria along with descriptions of Jannah (جنة) (paradise) including Hoor (الحور) (virgins), saying that there would be 72 of them waiting for the dead "martyrs".[737]

Use of Burqas

Islam Awazi released a video showing Burqa clad women being militarily trained by the Turkistan Islamic Party with guns and RPGs.[738][739][740][741][742]

Child soldiers

Camps training children for Jihad are being run by the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria.[743][744][745] Photos of the child military training camps in Syria were released by the Turkistan Islamic Party, who labelled the children as "little mujahideen".[746][747][748] Uyghur child soldiers being instructed in Sharia and training with guns were depicted in a video released by TIP.[749][750][751][752][753][754]

Photos of a training camp for Uyghur children run by the Turkistan Islamic Party were released by Islam Awazi.[755][756][757][758] Photos released by Turkistan Islamic Party's Islam Awazi media which showed Uyghur militants along with Uyghur children in Syria, including one child holding an AK-47, the Uyghurs cooperated with Jabhat Al-Nusra and had pledged alleigance (bay'ah) to Taliban leader Mullah Omar.[759] Another photo released by Islam Awazi showed Uyghur children training with AK-47's and with shahada headbands at a camp in the Afpak (Afghanistan-Pakistan) region.[760] Pictures were released by Islam Awazi of Afghanistan-based Turkistan Islamic Party training children for Jihad.[761] A video of a training camp in Waziristan in Pakistan's tribal areas showing children being trained with weapons was released by the Turkistan Islamic Party's Islam Awazi.[762]

Pictures of Uyghur girls wearing Hijab and posing with guns were posted by the Turkistan Islamic Party's Islam Awazi.[699][704][763][764][765]

Photos released by TIP's Islam Awazi showed Uyghur children in Idlib, Syria, with AK-47s, reading Qurans, and Burqa clad women praying.[766] The child soldiers were also shown engaging in religious studies.[767]

The village of Az-Zanbaqi (الزنبقي) in Jisr al-Shughur's countryside has become a base for a massive amount of Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party militants and their families in Syria, estimated at around 3,500, military camps in the area are training hundreds of children from these families; Hezbollah media, Iranian media and Syrian government media accused Turkish intelligence of being involved in transporting these Uyghurs via Turkey to Syria, with the aim of using them first in Syria to help Jabhat Al-Nusra and gain combat experience fighting against the Syrian Army before sending them back to Xinjiang to fight against China if they manage to survive.[768][769][770][771][772][773][774][775]

The Syrian political analyst and Arab nationalist Taleb Ibrahim accused Turkey of trying to demographically alter areas of Syria by sending in Turkic peoples like Uyghurs, Turkmens, and others to take over whole villages after ethnically cleansing the Arab locals, accusing Turkey of neo-Ottoman and Turkish colonialist policies towards Syria and trying to take parts of Syria from Arabs.[776][777]

TIP's Islam Awazi encouraged entire Uyghur families including women and children to emigrate abroad to perform "Jihad".[778] Chinese authorities reported that they discovered that Uyghurs attempting to move to Turkey via Southeast Asia had radical Islamist materials on their phones.[779]

The Uyghur diaspora in the Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul, Turkey, is the source of Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party Jihadists in Syria.[780][781] A Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party fighter in Syria, Ibrahim Mansour, openly gave interviews to the Turkish media where he boasted to fighting the "Assad regime".[782][783]

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

The terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant released a video featuring an 80 year old Uyghur man who came to join ISIS in Syria along with his grandchildren, wife, and daughter after he was inspired by his son who died in combat in Syria. The video featured Uyghur children singing about martyrdom and a 10 year old Uyghur child threatening China, saying : "O Chinese kuffar (non-believers), know that we are preparing in the land of the khilafah (caliphate) and we will come to you and raise this flag in Turkestan with the permission of Allah."[784][785][786][787][788] The elderly Uyghur man said "'I made hijrah accompanied by my four grandsons, my daughter and my wife".[789][790][791]

Turkish passports were used by Uyghurs who were seeking to contact Mujahidin Indonesia Timur, a pro-ISIS organization in Sulawesi in Indonesia.[663][792]

The Turkish run English language BGNNews news agency reported that the Turkish Meydan newspaper discovered that Uyghur fighters joining ISIL were being helped by businessman Nurali T., who led a Zeytinburnu district based network in Istanbul, which produced counterfeit Turkish passports numbering up to 100,000 to give to Uyghurs from China and help them go to Turkey form where they would enter Iraq and Syria to join ISIL, Uyghurs from China travel to Malaysia via Cambodia and Thailand and then travel onto Turkey, since a visa is not needed for travel between Turkey and Malaysia, then staying at locations in Istanbul, and then going to Iraq and Syria by traveling to southeastern Turkey, the information was revealed by AG who participates in the network, he noted that even though Turkish authorities are able to detect the fake passports they do not deport the Uyghurs and allow them into Turkey, AG said that: "Turkey has secret dealings with the Uighurs. The authorities first confiscate the passports but then release the individuals."[793]

After Thailand deported Uyghurs back to China whom China suspected to have "been on their way to Turkey, Syria or Iraq to join jihad" , John Kirby, a United States State Department spokesman, slammed the move and said Thailand should "allow those remaining ethnic Uighurs to depart voluntarily to a country of their choice".[794] TIP's "Islamic Turkistan" Twitter account condemned the deportation and called China and Thailand as "polytheist enemies of Allah" (أعداء الله المشركين).[795]

ISIL released a Uyghur language audio version of their claim of responsibility for the November 2015 Paris attacks.[796]

ISIS/ISIL aligned Uyghurs have been traveling to Indonesia to participate in terrorist attacks against Shia, Christians, and the Indonesian government, during a terrorist attack in Central Sulawesi, one Uyghur, Farouk, was killed by Indonesian security personnel in November, and another Uyghur terrorist, Alli, was arrested for plotting a terrorist attack.[797] China has been contacted by the Indonesian government who sought assistance in confronting Uyghur members of terrorist organizations in Indonesia.[798]

In Sulawesi on March 2016 two pro-ISIS Uighurs in Indonesia were liquidated by Indonesian government forces.[799] The "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" which supports the TIP, denounced the Indonesian government and police for their killing of 2 Uyghurs who were members of "Doğu Endonezya Mücahitleri" (Mujahidin Indonesia Timor).[800][801] 2 Uyghurs with suspected terror ties were killed in Sulawesi by Indonesian security forces on April 8 and the killings were condemned by "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı".[802][803] The "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" slammed the Indonesian government for hunting down four Uyghurs who illegally entered the country to join "Doğu Endonezya Mücahitleri" and accused the Indonesian government of attacking Muslims.[804][805] A Uyghur accused of terror ties was killed in Sulawesi by the Indonesian security forces on April 24, for which the "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" condemned the Indonesian government.[806][807]

Two Turkish government issued Istanbul residence permit application forms of ISIS fighters in Syria named Abduleziz Abdullah and Abdulrehman Memrullah showed their nationality labelled as "DOĞU TÜRKISTAN" (East Turkestan) were seized by the SDF and YPG.[808][809]

The Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman Anakara Bureau Chief Abdullah Bozkurt said that the Islamist Erdoğan government in Turkey allowed Uyghur fighters to cross into Syria via Turkey and this was causing major problems in China-Turkey relations.[810]

Attempts at Independence

Yaqub Beg establishment of Kashgaria

The Kokandi Yaqub Beg invaded Kashgar during the Dungan revolt to establish an independent state after taking advantage of local rebellions.

Also during the Dungan revolt, the Taranchi Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang initially cooperated with the Dungans (Chinese Muslims) when they rose in revolt, but turned on them, because the Dungans, mindful of their Chinese heritage attempted to subject the entire region to their rule. The Taranchi massacred the Dungans at Kuldja and drove the rest through Talk pass to the Ili valley.[811]

First East Turkestan Republic

The first republic established by the Uighurs was short lived, the Uighur army was defeated by the Chinese Muslim 36th Division (National Revolutionary Army), which destroyed the Republic at the Battle of Kashgar (1933).

Second East Turkestan Republic

A Soviet backed state was created by Uighur rebels in northern Xinjiang. It was absorbed into the newly founded People's Republic of China in 1950.

Official Chinese position on the movement

People's Republic of China

Further information: Xinjiang conflict

Republic of China (Taiwan)

The Republic of China's (Taiwan) ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chinese Muslim General Ma Bufang, in response to a request by a former Uyghur Mufti living in Saudi Arabia, Abdul Ahad Hamed for accommodations to be granted to Uyghurs living outside of China who held Republic of China passports, sent the following letter, which rejected Abdul Ahad Hamed's demands and his usage of the term "East Turkestan", upholding the official position of the Republic of China (Taiwan) that Xinjiang was a part of China and that it did not recognize the East Turkestan Independence Movement.[812]

Dear Brother,
With all due respect to your previous position in the Government of Sinkiang and to the confidence placed in you by His Excellency the President of the Republic of China, I hope that you will refrain from using expressions which should not be used by one who occupied the position of a mufti. We are all serving our beloved country trying to do our best for our countrymen. I also hope that you will refrain from using the expression "The Turkestani Nation" which was the creation of one Abdul Qayyum Khan while he was living in Germany. We are working for the welfare of the true people of Sinkiang not for the Turkestanis living outside Sinkiang or the followers of Abdul Qayyum Khan.
Best regards,
Ambassador of Nationalist China in Saudi Arabia[813]


The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Party, Organization for Freeing Eastern Turkistan, and the Islamic Party of Turkistan were outlawed by Kyrgyzstan's Lenin District Court and its Supreme Court in November 2003.[814] Several Uyghur fighters were shot dead by Kyrgyzstan's security forces in January 2014.[815][816][817][818]

Arab countries politically supported China in the OIC with especially Saudi Arabia and Egypt helping China squash any potential anti-Chinese motion by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on the Uyghurs, Egypt viewed its own internal sectarian problems like China's and Sudan was also concerned about external interference in its internal problems as well, while Indonesia had to deal with its own internal Islamists and emphasized that there was no religious conflict but instead ethnic based disturbances in Xinjiang to calm the situation down.[819] Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt helped China kill off a statement on the Xinjiang situation in the OIC.[820] There has been no public reaction by the Arab League, Saudi Arabia and Iran on the situation and China has built stronger relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia due to their influence in the Islamic world.[821]

Malaysia deported Uyghurs back to China at China's request and ignored calls to halt the deportation.[822][823][824][825][826]

Pakistan outlawed the Islamic Jihad Union, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the East Turkistan Islamic Movement in 2013.[827]

The United Arab Emirates declared the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (Turkistan Islamic Party) as a terrorist organization in 2014.[828][829][830][831]

Kazakhstan categorized as a terrorist group the Turkistan Islamic Party.[832][833][834][835]

Rebiya Kadeer claimed that Turkey is hampered from interfering with Uyghurs because it recognizes that its own Kurdish issue may get interfered with by China in retaliation.[836] An appeal for Chinese products to be boycotted by Nihat Ergun failed in 2009.[837]

The Ambassador of Syria to China, Imad Moustapha, has accused Turkey of facilitating the entry of Uighur jihadists into Syria.[838]

The Syrian government media and Iranian media suspect that Turkish Intelligence (MİT) is supporting the Turkistan Islamic Party in the Syrian Civil War.[768][769][770][771][772][773][774][775][839][840][841][842][843][844][845][846][847][848][849][850][851][852][853][854][855]

Western media

Nick Holdstock, in a New York Times interview claimed that no organization is taking responsibility for attacks in Xinjiang, and that there is not enough proof to blame any organization for the attacks, that most "terrorism" there is "unsubstantiated", and that posting internet videos online is the only thing done by the "vague and shadowy" ETIM.[856]

The United States is believed to have an ulterior agenda in trying to sabotage China by feigning concern for human rights and deliberately turning a blind eye to Al-Qaeda allied Uyghur members of ETIM in Afghanistan by not initiating legal precedings against or bringing to trial any Uyghur detainees held in Guantanamo with terrorism and seeking to free them.[857]

The "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" which supports the TIP, cited a Reuters article which claimed that Uyghurs are viewed as terrorists in China.[858]

The "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" cited an Amnesty international report attacking the Uzbek government[859]

The "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" cited a report on the disputed islands between Japan and China and Japanese military being placed there.[860]

The "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" claimed that the AIDS virus was being used against Uyghurs.[861][862]

The "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" praised a TIP member, Hamza (Muhammad Ali Told Rahim), who joined the Turkistan Islamic Party as one of the "mujahideen" fighting in Khorasan (Afghanistan) on 15 December 2006 and returned to Kashgar to participate in the 2011 Kashgar attacks in which he was killed, citing from a Human Rights Watch report which praised Hamza.[863]

Turkistanislamder complained that the veil and headscarf are banned in Uzbekistan under Islam Karimov's rule.[864]

"Doğu Türkistan Bülteni Haber Ajansı" attacked a plan for a museum replacing a Mosque by Karimov.[865]

Uyghur media

The Turkistan Islamic Party's magazine "Turkistān al-Islāmīyyah" Issue #14 endorsed attacks and killings against Chinese workers and referred to "Martyrdom Operations" against a police station and a "Martyr's Brigade".[866]

In "Islamic Turkistan" Issue #12 photo of the founders of the First East Turkestan Republic including Sabit Damulla Abdulbaki was titled "Men who marked history in their blood" رجال سطروا التاريخ بدمائهم (1933–1352) featured with the caption "Founders of an independent islamic state in the Hijri year 1352 in East Turkestan" (مؤسسوا دولة إسلامية مستقلة عام 1352هـ في تركستان الشرقية).[487]

TIP published a video showing Denis Mamdou Cuspert and Mohamed Mahmoud of Millatu-Ibrahim being applauded by IMU member Yassin Chouka.[867]

Infighting between Uyghur separatists

Anwar Yusuf Turani set up the "East Turkistan Government in Exile".[868]

Rebiya Kadeer accused the East Turkistan government in exile of being agents of China.[185]

Turkic nationalism

During the First East Turkestan Republic, the Turkic nationalist ideology of the Republic led to hostility between different Muslim ethnic groups. The Uyghurs and Kirghiz, who were both Turkic Muslim peoples, fought against the Chinese Muslims of southern Xinjiang and sought to expel them with the Han Chinese. This led several Chinese Muslim Generals like Ma Zhancang, Ma Fuyuan, and Ma Hushan to fight against the Uyghur attempts and independence.

The Chinese Hui Muslim General Bai Chongxi wanted to settle disbanded Chinese soldiers in Xinjiang, which the Uyghurs opposed.[869]


Anti Tungan (Chinese Muslim) political graffiti was painted by Uighurs on Khotan's city gates.[870]

Revolution is an edifice built of many bricks
Each brick is an injustice
Blood is Mortar
Each wall is a mountain of sorrow
The foundation is most important
Alone, it must sustain the structure
Martyrdom is the Excellent Foundation!

Mustafa Ali, the Turkish advisor to the Uyghurs in the First East Turkestan Republic was an anti kemalist. Muhsin Çapanolu was also anti kemalist, and they both had Pan Turanist views. Mahmud Nadim Bay, another anti kemalist Turk, was also an advisor to the Uyghur separatists.[871][872]

Argument for East Turkestan independence

Main article: Migration to Xinjiang
ETGIE members at Capitol Hill on 14 September 2004
Flags of Turkey and Eastern Turkestan at Doğu Türkistan Vakfı-Kültür Merkezi (Eastern Turkistan Foundation-Cultural Center) in Fatih district, Istanbul.

Al-Qaeda included an article in its magazine "Resurgence" promoting East Turkestan Independence titled "Did You Know? 10 Facts About East Turkistan", the article was ridden with errors and false claims such as claiming Quranic education was banned, and included other claims such as "East Turkistan has never been a part of China" and it was "independent of China for more than 1,800 years", "In 1949, 93 percent of the population of East Turkistan was Uyghur (Turk Muslims) while 7 percent was Chinese", and that "After the Communist takeover in 1949, more than 4.5 million Turkish Muslims were killed by the Communist government", with Al-Qaeda calling for the "occupied Muslim land" "East Turkistan" to be "recovered [into] the shade of the Islamic Caliphate".[873]

The "Doğu Türkistan Haber Ajansı" (East Turkestan News Agency) published an article from Al-Qaeda branch Al-Nusrah's "Al-Risalah magazine, translated into Turkish and titled Al Risale : "Türkistan Dağları " 1. Bölüm (The Message : "Turkistan Mountains" Part 1.) on a Uyghur family, including a man, his brother, his sister, his wife, and his two little daughters and two nieces travelling from "East Turkestan" to Syria to join the "Jihad in the path of Allah".[874] The article claimed that "Turks" lived in "East Turkestan" for "four thousand years" and claimed "East Turkestan" was not part of China.[875] The article attacked China and the Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, accusing both China and the Saudis of running the same kind of government run Islamic institutes and organizations to control Muslims like "scholars for dollars and "palace scholars". The article then praised Allah for allowing Muslims from "Turkestan" to go to the Levant for Jihad.[876] El Risale addressed Muslims in Europe and criticized how they could go to Syria more easier than Muslims from "Turkestan", while the "Turkistani Mujahideen" endured massive obstacles and difficulties in reaching Syria to perform "Jihad in the path of Allah".[877] "Doğu Türkistan Haber Ajansı" carried an interview between El Risale and Abu Firas al-Suri, a leader in Al-Qaeda linked Nusra Front.[878] Al Qaida cleric Abdullah Al-Muhaysini praised the Turkistan Islamic Party fighters in their attacks against the "Nusayris" of Assad's army (Alawites).[879]

The Chinese government allows Uyghurs to choose between schools teaching in Uyghur and schools teaching in Chinese.[880][881][882][883][884]

Uyghur is the dominant language in southern Xinjiang while Mandarin is the dominant language in northern Xinjiang.[885]

The Uyghur American Association claims that Many Uyghurs face religious persecution and discrimination at the hands of the government authorities. Uyghurs who choose to practice their faith can use only a state-approved version of the Koran;[886] They also claims that many nationalists are killed or tortured or jailed for their independence efforts, and even non-violent protesters have said to have been facing human rights abuses. They claim dress, language, and culture are slowly being eroded away as more and more ethnic Han are moving there in the Migration to Xinjiang. They claim religion and way of life are misunderstood and the government cracks down on any sign of resistance. The "Uyghur Human Rights Project" alleges that children under the age of 18 were banned from a mosque in southern Xinjiang.[887]

Argument against East Turkestan independence

China claims to have a historic claim on modern-day Xinjiang dating back two thousand years. East Asian migrants arrived in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin about 3,000 years ago, while the Uighur people arrived after the collapse of the Orkon Uighur Kingdom, based in modern-day Mongolia, around the year 842.[17] It fears that independence movements are largely funded and led by outside forces that seek to weaken China. China points out that despite such movements, Xinjiang has made great economic strides, building up its infrastructure, improving its education system and increasing the average life expectancy.[888]

Some Chinese Muslims criticize Uyghur separatism, and generally do not want to get involved in conflict in other countries over Islam for fear of being perceived as radical.[889]

Uyghur independence activists express concern over the Han population changing the Uyghur character of the region, yet the historical native land of the Uyghurs is not the whole land of Xinjiang, but Tarim basin. Professor James A. Millward pointed out that the capital of Xinjiang Urumqi was even originally a Han and Hui (Tungan) city with few Uyghur people before recent Uyghur migration to the city, but foreigners mistakenly think that Urumqi was originally a Uyghur city and that the Chinese destroyed its Uyghur character and culture.[890] Moreover, the Han and Hui mostly live in northern Xinjiang Dzungaria, and are separated from areas of historical Uyghur dominance south of the Tian Shan mountains (southwestern Xinjiang), where Uyghurs account for about 90% of the population.[269] While a few people try to give a misportrayal of the historical Qing situation in light of the contemporary situation in Xinjiang with Han migration, and claim that the Qing settlements and state farms were an anti-Uyghur plot to replace them in their land, Professor James A. Millward pointed out that the Qing agricultural colonies in reality had nothing to do with Uyghur and their land, since the Qing banned settlement of Han in the Uyghur Tarim Basin and in fact directed the Han settlers instead to settle in the non-Uyghur Dzungaria and the new city of Urumqi, so that the state farms which were settled with 155,000 Han Chinese from 1760–1830 were all in Dzungaria and Urumqi, where there was only an insignificant amount of Uyghurs, instead of the Tarim Basin oases.[41]

Uyghur nationalist historians such as Turghun Almas claim that Uyghurs were distinct and independent from Chinese for 6000 years, and that all non-Uyghur peoples are non-indigenous immigrants to Xinjiang.[891] However, the Han Dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) established military colonies (tuntian) and commanderies (duhufu) to control Xinjiang from 120 BCE, while the Tang Dynasty (618–907) also controlled much of Xinjiang until the An Lushan rebellion.[892] Chinese historians refute Uyghur nationalist claims by pointing out the 2000-year history of Han settlement in Xinjiang, documenting the history of Mongol, Kazakh, Uzbek, Manchu, Hui, Xibo indigenes in Xinjiang, and by emphasizing the relatively late "westward migration" of the Huigu (equated with "Uyghur" by the PRC government) people from Mongolia the 9th century.[891] The name "Uyghur" was associated with a Buddhist people in the Tarim Basin in the 9th century, but completely disappeared by the 15th century, until it was revived by the Soviet Union in the 20th century.[893]

Uyghur nationalists often incorrectly claim that 5% of Xinjiang's population in 1949 was Han, and that the other 95% was Uyghur, erasing the presence of Kazakhs, Xibes, and others, and ignoring the fact that Hans were around one third of Xinjiang's population at 1800, during the time of the Qing Dynasty.[182] At the start of the 19th century, 40 years after the Qing reconquest, there were around 155,000 Han and Hui Chinese in northern Xinjiang and somewhat more than twice that number of Uyghurs in southern Xinjiang.[179] A census of Xinjiang under Qing rule in the early 19th century tabulated ethnic shares of the population as 30% Han and 60% Turkic, while it dramatically shifted to 6% Han and 75% Uyghur in the 1953 census, however a situation similar to the Qing era-demographics with a large number of Han has been restored as of 2000 with 40.57% Han and 45.21% Uyghur.[243] Professor Stanley W. Toops noted that today's demographic situation is similar to that of the early Qing period in Xinjiang. In northern Xinjiang, the Qing brought in Han, Hui, Uyghur, Xibe, and Kazakh colonists after they exterminated the Zunghar Oirat Mongols in the region, with one third of Xinjiang's total population consisting of Hui and Han in the northern are, while around two thirds were Uyghurs in southern Xinjiang's Tarim Basin.[84]


The flag of Jihad is used by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement

In general, the wide variety of groups who seek independence can be distinguished by the type of government they advocate and the role they believe an independent East Turkestan should play in international affairs. Groups who use the term East Turkestan tend to have an orientation towards western Asia, the Islamic world, and Russia. These groups can be further subdivided into those who desire secularism, and identify with the struggle of secular Kemal Atatürk in Turkey, versus those who want an Islamic theocracy and identify with Saudi Arabia, the former Taliban government in Afghanistan, or Iran. In many cases the latter diminish the importance or deny the existence of a separate Uyghur ethnicity and claim a larger Islamic identity. These groups tend to see an independent East Turkestan in which non-Turkic, and especially non-Islamic minorities, such as the Han Chinese would play no significant role.

Some of the groups that support independence for East Turkestan have been labeled terrorist organizations by both the People's Republic of China, the United Nations and/or the United States. Pro-independence organizations overseas include the East Turkistan National Freedom Center, the East Turkistan Government in Exile, and the East Turkestan Liberation Organization (Transnational Hizb ut-Tahrir).[894] The most noticeable event towards the East Turkistan Independence Movement was the establishment of the East Turkistan Government in Exile by a group of East Turkistani immigrants led by Anwar Yusuf Turani in Washington D.C. on 14 September 2004.[895] The target audience of these organizations is generally the Western governments and public, as almost none of the websites are in Chinese or Uyghur, and most Uyghurs in China and Central Asia have never heard of them.[896] The East Turkestan Islamic Movement(ETIM)(also East Turkestan Islamic Party), which has claimed responsibility for attacks in Xinjiang, has been identified as a terrorist organization by the governments of China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and the United States, as well as the United Nations.[897][898][899][900][901]


Uyghur separatist leader Isa Alptekin met with the ultra-nationalist Pan-Turkic fascist leader Alparslan Türkeş.[902][903][904][905] Alptekin spouted anti-Armenian rhetoric while he was in Turkey and claimed that innocent Turkish Muslims were massacred by Armenians.[906][907][908]

Recent events

There continues to be concern over tensions in the region, centering upon Uyghur cultural aspirations to independence, and resentment towards what Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch describe as repression of non-Han Chinese culture.

Conversely, many Han Chinese perceive PRC policies of ethnic autonomy as discriminatory against them (see autonomous entities of China). Independence advocates view Chinese rule in Xinjiang, and policies like the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps as Chinese imperialism. The US and the UN have labelled the East Turkestan Islamic Movement a terrorist group.

The tensions have occasionally resulted in major incidents and violent clashes during the PRC period. For example, in 1962, 60,000 Uyghur and Kazakh refugees fled northern Xinjiang into the Soviet Union to escape the famine and political purges of the Great Leap Forward era; in the 1980s there was a smattering of student demonstrations and riots against police action that took on an ethnic aspect; and the Baren Township riot in April 1990, an abortive uprising resulted in more than 50 deaths.

A police roundup of suspected separatists during Ramadan resulted in large demonstrations that turned violent in February 1997 in an episode known as the Ghulja Incident that led to at least 9 deaths.[909] The Urumqi bus bombs of 25 February 1997, perhaps a response to the crackdown that followed the Ghulja Incident, killed 9 and injured 68. Speaking on separatist violence, Erkin Alptekin, a former East Turkestan National Congress chairman and prominent Uyghur activist, said "We must emphasise dialogue and warn our youth against the use of violence because it de-legitimises our movement".[910] Despite much talk of separatism and terrorism in Xinjiang, especially after the 9-11 attacks in the United States and the US invasion of Afghanistan, the situation in Xinjiang was quiet from the late nineties through mid-2006. In 2005, Uighur author Nurmemet Yasin was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for inciting separatism following his publication of an allegorical short story, "The Blue Pigeon".[911]

On 5 January 2007 the Chinese Public Security Bureau raided a suspected terrorist training camp in the mountains near the Pamir Plateau in southern Xinjiang. According to the reports, 18 terrorists were killed and another 17 captured in a gun battle between the East Turkestan Independence Movement and PRC forces. One police officer was killed and "over 1,500 hand grenades... were seized."[912]


In 2008, the Chinese government announced that several terrorist plots by Uyghur separatists to disrupt the 2008 Olympic Games involving kidnapping athletes, journalists and tourists were foiled. The security ministry said 35 arrests were made in recent weeks and explosives had been seized in Xinjiang province. It said 10 others were held when police smashed another plot based in Xinjiang back in January to disrupt the Games. However, Uyghur activists accused the Chinese of fabricating terror plots to crack down on the people of the region and prevent them airing legitimate grievances. Some foreign observers were also skeptical, questioning if China was inflating a terror threat to justify a clampdown on dissidents before the Olympics.[913]

In the run-up to the Summer Olympics in Beijing, during which world attention was drawn by pro-Tibet protests along the Olympic torch relay, Uyghur separatist groups staged protests in several countries.[914] According to the Chinese government, a suicide bombing attempt on a China Southern Airlines flight in Xinjiang was thwarted in March 2008.[915]

Four days before the Beijing Olympics, 16 Chinese police officers were killed and 16 injured in an attack in Kashgar by local merchants.[916] Chinese police injured and damaged the equipment of two Japanese journalists sent to cover the story.[917] Four days later a bombing in Kuqa killed at least two people.[918]

On 27 August, two Chinese police officers were killed and seven more wounded near the city of Kashgar when their patrol was ambushed by at least seven militants, including one woman, wielding knives and automatic weapons. Apparently the patrol was lain upon in a corn field while acting on an erroneous tip from another woman that had been suspected of assisting militants. According to Uighur sources Chinese officials have been "cracking down" on ethnic Uighurs, detaining large numbers in recent weeks and view the incident as Uighurs resisting arrest. Reportedly, 33 people died in Xinjiang because of clashes in the month of August.[919][920]

On 5 July 2009, riots broke out in Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang. The state media reported close to 150 people dead. While the riots occurred after a demonstration protesting the deaths of two Uyghurs in the June 2009 Shaoguan incident, the central government claimed that the riot had been masterminded by separatists abroad, particularly exiled leader Rebiya Kadeer.

2015 Bangkok bombing

The 2015 Bangkok bombing is suspected to have been carried out by the Pan-Turkic neo-fascist Turkish ultra-nationalist organization Grey Wolves due to Thailand's deportation of Uyghur terrorist suspects back to China instead of allowing them to travel to Turkey for asylum, a Turkish man named Adem Karadag was arrested by the Thai police in connection to the bombing with Turkish passports and bomb making materials found in his apartment, the Grey Wolves are described by the media as a terrorist group and became famous for their assassinations and killings of journalists, liberals, and leftists in Turkey, their member Mehmet Ali Ağca's assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II, and their involvement in the Nagorno-Karabakh War and the Chechen war due to the Muslim and Turkic populations of those areas since their aim is the unification of all Muslim Turkic peoples into one state spanning from Central Asia to the Balkans.[794][921][922][923][924][925][926][927]

Due to risk of terrorism and the manufacture of counterfeit passports, Uyghur foreigners in Thailand were placed under watch by Thailand Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon.[928][929][930][931] Due to suspicion of terrorism, the Thai police were put on alert after the arrival of 2 Turkey based Uyghurs.[932]

Islamization of East Turkistan

China protest in Turkey in 2015

Many Islamic Mujahideens have come and committed terrorism in the Xinjiang autonomous region.[933] It is feared by the National Government that radicalization of Chinese Uighurs by the Uighur Diaspora will occur.[934] 2014,''China has jailed almost two dozen people including "wild imams" who preach illegally in the western region of Xinjiang where the government says Islamists are waging a violent campaign for a separate state.''[935] Supporters of the Uighur movement, criticized by China and her allies as supporters of international terrorism include Turkey.[936]

See also

Further reading


  1. Although "Chin" refers to China in modern Urdu, in Iqbal's day it referred to Central Asia, coextensive with historical Turkestan.[70]
  2. Chapters 3–7 of (Perdue 2005) describe the rise and fall of the Dzungar empire and its relations with other Mongol tribes, the Qing dynasty, and the Russian empire.
  3. The People's Republic, founded in 1949, banned private confessional teaching from the early 1950s to the 1980s, until a more liberal stance allowed religious mosque education to resume and private Muslim schools to open. Moreoever, except in Xinjiang for fear of secessionist feelings, the government allowed and sometimes encouraged the founding of private Muslim schools in order to provide education for people who could not attend increasingly expensive state schools or who left them early, for lack of money or lack of satisfactory achievements.[425]



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