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Online Protesters Welcome Drawing Competition “China in the Eyes of Turks”

Online protesters welcomed the drawing competition “China in the Eyes of Turks.” The Turkish Ministry of Education and the Chinese Embassy in Turkey are organizing a drawing contest for Turkish high school students with the theme “China in my eyes,” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The drawing contest has triggered a backlash among Turks, with Twitter users creating hashtags based on the contest’s name and posting pictures that are parodies of Uyghurs being persecuted.

In one drawing, a girl is leaping upwards towards the star and moon flag with a blue background, the symbol of the East Turkestan independence movement, with her right hand raised as if she is striving for a firm goal.

Ahmet Davutoglu, a longtime ally of current Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a former foreign minister and prime minister, uploaded this drawing and posted “Our dream is East Turkistan. Dear children, draw your dream of saving your brothers and sisters in our ancestral home and send them to this contest. Say it out loud so that those who don’t want to see it can hear it!”

“#hayalimdekicin (China in my dream)” became a popular hashtag after netizens posted the Turkish Ministry of Education’s official letter on the Internet, while many Twitter users posted a number of comical images that were parodies of Uyghurs being persecuted.

The paintings included a group of men in blue shirts sitting on the ground under an iron curtain in a Xinjiang concentration camp with an adult in a red robe with a Chinese national five-star flag holding the mouth and nose of a Uighur girl in pigtails, a stained star and moon flag stained with five stars painted in blood, and a boy whose family was imprisoned in a concentration camp, sitting alone in his home and crying on Eid al-Fitr, a religious holiday that Muslims celebrate.

Twitter user @MardinTes said in Turkish and translates, “Our students should participate in this contest, with thousands of pictures depicting the torture, assimilation and genocide that the murderer China has inflicted on our kinsmen.”

Another user @seyittumturk7 posted in Turkish and translates, “State of Pain China, State of the Blood China, State of persecution China, State of Terror China, State of Tears China, Genocide State China.”

The Uyghurs living in Xinjiang province of China are a Turkic ethnic group sharing the same cultural and ancestral roots with the Turkish people. Beijing’s genocidal persecution of Uyghurs is viewed by most people in Turkey as the persecution of their brothers and sisters.

Source: Central News Agency, May 7, 2021