Strategic Planning Session for the East Turkestan National Movement
Uyghur intellectuals, policy experts, academics, and activists from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Turkey, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Germany gathered in Berlin on May 19-21, 2017 to discuss strategic steps to advance the East Turkestan national movement. This event was initiated and organized by foreign policy expert and historian, Dr. Erkin Ekrem of Hacettepe University in Turkey.
At the event, participants reviewed and discussed a three-step action plans for the East Turkestan national movement that Dr. Ekrem had prepared for the World Uyghur Congress in 2004 for consideration and implementation. The pressing and urgent issues discussed at the event included changing world dynamics, China’s global influence and its effect to the Uyghur cause, and the challenges facing the Uyghur people in China and around the globe.
Dr. Ekrem moderated the round-table discussions that covered a wide range of policy and strategic issues that included the global economy, human rights and democracy in current diplomatic engagements, international and regional security, counter-terrorism, China’s growing global ambition and influence within international organizations, the worsening political environment for the Uyghurs, and strategies for Uyghur advocacy work with governments, non-governmental organizations, and businesses.
The event’s main purpose was to explore effective ways to improve human rights condition for Uyghurs in China and develop a pathway for a free East Turkestan. Participants contributed through their diverse backgrounds including academic research, legal and policy expertise, leadership experience, advocacy work, and life experience.
The participants also decided to organize a similar event each year. The first gathering was organized in Girne, in the Turkish Republic of Cyrus on February 25-27, 2017.