Turkey’s Erdogan Courts China but Has Little to Show for It

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping are greeted by Chinese children during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 29, 2015 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping are greeted by Chinese children during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, July 29, 2015 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).
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In late July, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Beijing, his first state visit to China as president. Weeks earlier, back in Istanbul, Turkish nationalists enraged at the treatment of Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province had attacked Korean tourists, thinking they were Chinese, and stormed the Thai Consulate after Thailand deported a group of Uighurs who had fled China. With Erdogan pushing a more nationalist agenda to overcome a challenge from the right after his party’s electoral setbacks in June, most observers focused on whether China’s ethnic tensions and Turkish criticism of Beijing’s policies toward the Uighur minority could […]

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