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An Uyghur child at the protest in Istanbul on March 25, 2021. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds of Uyghurs filled the streets of Ankara and Istanbul on Thursday, protesting a visit to Turkey by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and calling on the Turkish government to denounce human rights abuses against Uyghurs in China, AP reports.

Why it matters: Despite having one of the largest populations of the Turkic Muslim minority outside of China, Turkey has been reluctant to vocally criticize Beijing on the issue due to the two countries' economic ties, according to AP.

  • “We call on Turkey to not turn its back on our Uyghur people because of some economic benefit," said Burhan Uluyol, one of the protestors in Istanbul, per AP.
  • Chinese officials continue to deny the existence of human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims in the region of Xinjiang, even as they come under increasing scrutiny and condemnation by the international community.
  • The U.S. State Department and several legislative bodies have deemed China's campaign of surveillance, mass detention, forced labor and forced sterilization of the Uyghurs a genocide.
In photos
Protestors in front of the Chinese embassy in Ankara, on March 25, 2021. Photo: Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images
Protestor in Istanbul on March 25, 2021. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images
Protestors in front of the Chinese embassy in Ankara, on March 25, 2021. Photo: Photo: Adem Altan/AFP via Getty Images)
Protestors in Adana, Turkey on March 25, 2021. Photo: Eren Bozkurt/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Go deeper

Mar 25, 2021 - Sports

In photos: Olympic torch relay finally under way in Japan

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Grand Start torchbearers from Japan's women's national soccer team, or Nadeshiko Japan, lead the torch relay in Naraha, Fukushima prefecture on March 25. Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympic torch relay began Thursday in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, one year after the world’s largest sporting event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the record: The relay underscores the Japanese government's resolve to forge ahead with the Olympics despite the pandemic. Confirmed deaths from the coronavirus in Japan remain under 9,000, but officials are still reporting more than 1,000 new cases a day — prompting health experts to warn that "a fourth wave is in sight," per the New York Times.

Facebook says Chinese hackers used platform to target Uyghurs abroad

Photo Illustration: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday it has blocked a group of hackers in China who have used the platform to target Uyghur activists, journalists and dissidents living abroad with links to surveillance malware.

Why it matters: The Chinese government is actively committing genocide against the Uyghurs, a largely Muslim ethnic group, inside the country, while harassing those who have left, according to Amnesty International.

H&M faces boycott calls in China for Xinjiang cotton policy

An H&M store in Beijing, China. Photo: Yan Cong/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Retail chain H&M is facing a potential boycott in China for refusing to use cotton from Xinjiang over concerns about the human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims in the region.

Driving the news: Influential groups with ties to the ruling Chinese Communist Party on Wednesday led an outcry on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, over a statement on the retail giant's website that states it's "deeply concerned" by abuse reports, per Bloomberg. Nike was also attacked on the site for expressing similar concerns, the New York Times notes.