Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Thursday that his government would not allow anti-China activities in Turkey and would take measures to eliminate media reports targeting the Beijing administration.
Speaking during a news briefing in Beijing along with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, Çavuşoğlu said, “We take China’s security as our security,” according to Reuters.
China and Turkey have repeatedly vowed to step up cooperation on security and counterterrorism, amid Beijing’s concerns about ethnic Uighurs from its restive far western region of Xinjiang fighting with militants in the Middle East.
In 2015, Turkey angered China by expressing concern about reports of restrictions on worship and fasting by Uighurs in Xinjiang during the holy month of Ramadan. Turkish protesters have marched on China’s embassy and consulate in Turkey over the treatment of Uighurs.
The two countries have also quarreled over Thailand’s deportation of Uighur migrants back to China.
Beijing says some Uighurs then end up fighting with Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria. It denies accusations that it restricts the Uighurs’ religious freedoms.
But Ankara is keen to tap into Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road infrastructure investment plan to link China with the rest of Asia and the world. Erdoğan visited China in May when President Xi Jinping hosted his first Belt and Road summit.
“China is willing to work with Turkey to enhance the ancient spirit of the Silk Road … and in jointly promoting the Belt and Road plan unlock new cooperative potential,” Wang said.