ISTANBUL - Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday his country will ask the U.N. Security Council to discuss ways of ending ethnic violence in China's northwestern region of Xinjiang.
Chinese police patrol a street in Urumqi. Recent unrest in Xinjiang saw thousands of Muslim Uighurs take to the streets, with state television showing protesters attacking members of China's majority Han population in scenes reminiscent of last year's violence in Tibet. (AFP/Peter Parks)
Predominantly Muslim Turkey has a non-permanent seat at the Security Council. At least 156 people have been killed in clashes between Uighurs and Han Chinese in the capital of Xinjiang. Uighurs are a Turkic people who share linguistic and cultural bonds with central Asia.
"We will put the events happening in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region onto the agenda of the United Nations' Security Council," Erdogan told a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Istanbul.
On Tuesday, around 250 protesters in the capital Ankara briefly scuffled with police outside the Chinese Embassy.
Turkey is a common destination for Uighurs who have emigrated from China and Turkish pan-Turkic groups see the ethnic group as the easternmost frontier of Turkic ethnicity.(Writing by Ibon Villelabeitia; Editing by Giles Elgood)