Response to the Chinese Global Times & CGTN

Aziz Isa Elkun
Research affiliate, SOAS, University of London
ai18@soas.ac.uk  |  www.azizisa.org/en

After my recent interview with CNN about the destruction of my father’s tomb, Chinese Global Times and China Global Television Network specifically responded spreading fault information about the destruction of my father’s tomb by forcing my 78 years old mother to give an interview. The GT and CGTN claim that they respect Uyghur and other Muslim nationalities graveyards and burial traditions in East Turkistan (Xinjiang), but the claims made about me in the article are not correct.

They said: “Aziz Isa Elkun claimed he could not find his father’s grave, which was located in Xayar county in Aksu Prefecture, from a satellite image on Google. However, instead of checking with his family in Xinjiang, the Uygur poet opted to tell the media of his discovery.”

Let me clarify this:

My father worked for 40 years as a medical doctor for Shayar County, Toyboldi town hospital. He died on 4th November 2017. I heard about his death four days later through a friend. Soon before the end of 2017, all my telephone communication with my mother was cut off. I had no news about my mother and other relatives from our village for more than two years, when I learned from friends living outside the region that my mother was alive and that my sister had been detained in an interment camp for more than a year and a half. I still have no news of my other relatives. Thanks to this Global Times TV Network report I have now heard my mother’s voice for the first time since February 2017.

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Let Sayragul sing!

Aziz Isa Elkun

About the poem:
this poem is dedicated to the courageous Sayragul Sauytbay, an ethnic Kazakh from East Turkistan. She was arrested in May 2018, after crossing into Kazakhstan illegally, and in a court hearing, she gave testimony about the re-education camps in East Turkistan (Xinjiang). She has bravely spoken to the outside world about China’s “Concentration Camps.” 

When it was written:
On 1 August 2018, after arriving at Almaty airport from London, the first good news I heard was Sayragul Sauytbay’s release from detention after the Zharkent court hearing. 

Sayragul, let the Kazakh girl sing – sing, Sayragul
Sayragul, let her sing for her country – sing, Sayragul
Sayragul, let her sing for justice – sing, Sayragul
Sayragul, never stop her song – sing, Sayragul!

You are a voice for the voiceless – sing, Sayragul
You are a freedom fighter – sing, Sayragul
You are an envoy for freedom – sing, Sayragul
You hover like an eagle – sing, Sayragul!

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Before – ئالدىدا

Nimshehit
نىمشېھىت  Nimshehit
Translated by Aziz Isa Elkun


ۋەسلىدىن ئۆزگە كېرەكمەس ماڭا جانان ئالدىدا 
ئارزۇيۇم سەن ئېرۇرسەن تەن بىلەن جان ئالدىدا 
بىرگۈلى رەنا ئېرۇرسەن باغۇ بوستان ئالدىدا 
تا زىيارەت قىلـمىسام مەن سېنى ئىمكان ئالدىدا 
يۈزلۈرۈم شەرمەندە بولسۇن تاڭلا سۇبھان ئالدىدا

I need nothing except only the love of my beloved
You are the greatest hope of my soul and body
You are the finest rose in a land of gardens
I would visit you if only I had the chance
Let my face be shamed before the glory of the dawn

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