Istanbul: Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has revealed that China has refused to allow the Turkish ambassador to visit the Uyghur region in the north-western Xinjiang province, admitting it has strained ties between the two nations, reported MEMO (Middle East Monitor).

Cavusoglu, holding a year-end press briefing in Turkey's capital Ankara, said the Chinese government "said a humanitarian delegation from Turkey could come and examine [Xinjiang]. It's been five years since [Chinese President] Xi [Jinping] proposed this. Why have you been preventing this delegation from visiting for five years, why don't you cooperate?", according to the report.

Cavusoglu was quoted in the report as saying, "Turkish-Chinese ties have suffered over Beijing being disturbed by our attitude on the Turkic Uyghurs issue. They have extradition requests for people who are our citizens, who live in Turkey all the time. Therefore, we don't grant any such requests."

The Turkish Foreign minister said the United Nations' Human Rights Council, in a 48-page report on Uyghurs, found that mass detentions in Xinjiang were marked by torture, sexual violence, forced labour, and forced abortions and sterilisations.

"(The report) reveals all (human rights) violations. We have to react to it," said Cavusoglu.

Instead of allowing the Turkish ambassador in China to freely visit the region where Uyghur Turks live, Cavusoglu stated that Beijing wants him to follow a "program that they provide", reported MEMO.

The Foreign minister said Turkey wants cooperation with China in a transparent manner. "Why should we become a tool for China's propaganda? We want to cooperate, we don't see this as a political issue. We are categorically not anti-Chinese. We have always said that we support the One-China policy," he said.

Recently, the East Turkistan government-in-exile called on the Turkish government to stop the arrest and deportation of Uyghurs, and end cooperation with China on the matter, according to a press release by the ETGE released on its official website,

The ETGE is a parliamentary-based democratically elected official body established and headquartered in Washington, D.C, by Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other people from East Turkistan. The body represents the people of East Turkistan on the international stage.

According to the ETGE press release, "Earlier today, Turkish state media TRT World reported that the AKP-led government of Turkey asserted that it is 'defending' the rights of Uyghurs, though it actively engages in intelligence and security cooperation with China to undermine East Turkistani/Uyghur activism within Turkey and the global East Turkistani diaspora."

In March 2021, Turkey's ruling AKP government in the Turkish Grand National Assembly allegedly suppressed a motion that would have designated as genocide, China's ongoing atrocities against the Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, and other Turkic people in East Turkistan.