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Turkish FM calls on China to end violence

Turkish FM calls on China to end violence

Turkey's foreign minister on Wednesday called on China to end the violence in the west of the country that has left 156 dead, while hundreds of Turks gathered outside Chinese diplomatic missions to denounce the killings of Uighurs.
Ahmet Davutoglu said China must also bring the culprits to justice and address the humanitarian situation in the Xinjiang region where ethnic clashes erupted on Sunday.
"We expect (China) to restore order, bring the culprits to justice in a transparent manner and take steps to improve the civilian humanitarian situation," the minister said.
"We attach great importance to our friendship with China and we regard the Uighurs as a bridge for this friendship," Davutoglu said. Turkic-speaking Uighurs are ethnically linked to Turks, and Turkey has a large Uighur community.
About 500 Turks _ members of a civil servants' union and a far-right nationalist group _ laid black wreaths in front of the Chinese Embassy before dispersing peacefully. A similar protest was held outside the Chinese Consulate in Istanbul.
Also on Wednesday, a lawmaker from Turkey's ruling Islamic-rooted party resigned from a Chinese-Turkish parliamentary friendship group to protest the Chinese government for its handling of the incidents. A consumers' group meanwhile called for a boycott of Chinese goods.
The foreign minister said he would discuss the situation in Xinjiang with his counterparts from China, the United States and Britain later on Wednesday.
A day earlier, Uighur protesters briefly scuffled with police outside the embassy building while Turkey summoned a top Chinese diplomat to the Foreign Ministry to request information on the violence and convey Turkey's concerns.