Uyghur woman serving 20-year sentence for speaking to Turkish PM 10 years agoMarch 22, 2022
A Uyghur woman who spoke for an hour with a Turkish politician a decade ago during his visit to a famous bazaar in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region was arrested for her transgression in 2017 and is serving a 20-year prison sentence, her husband said.
Erdoğan’s first official visit to China in his new position began in Urumqi (in Chinese, Wulumuqi), the region’s capital, and drew international attention. When he visited the Grand Bazaar in the city’s Dongkowruk (Erdaoqiao) area, one of Xinjiang’s top landmarks, many Uyghurs surrounded him to congratulate him and speak to him.
Meryem Emet (in Chinese, Aimati), a Uyghur married to a Turkish citizen who spoke fluent Turkish, was among those at the Grand Bazaar who spoke with Erdoğan at the time.
Afterwards, she was targeted by Chinese security forces for her hour-long conversation and later imprisoned, said Abdüllatif Kuçar, her husband who lives in Istanbul with their two children.