Turkish intelligence agency detains six suspected of spying on Uyghurs

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Turkey’s intelligence agency has detained six people suspected of spying on ethnic Uyghurs who have fled persecution in China, state media reports said Tuesday.

A seventh person was wanted but remained at large, the reports said, without specifying the suspects’ nationalities.

The seven are accused of collecting information on Turkey’s Uyghur associations and tracking prominent members of its community, and reporting it to Beijing.

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Turkey’s Uyghur community -- estimated in the tens of thousands -- is one of the largest outside China.

Although he has said little about the issue in more recent years, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously accused China of waging “genocide” against the ethnically Turkic group.

Campaigners and several governments say Beijing has conducted systematic cultural erasure and mass incarceration of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region, which Beijing strongly denies.

A United Nations report in 2022 detailed “credible” evidence of torture, forced medical treatment and sexual or gender-based violence -- as well as forced labor -- in the region.

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US expands ban on goods from three Chinese firms over Uyghur forced labor concerns

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