Happy Birthday to you, Ilham !

On this day he was born
Today his fiftieth golden leaf falls
He is in prison …
Because he fought for our freedom
His sacrifice for us all.

Today is the 51st Birthday of Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur Professor, winner of the Sakharov Prize, and twice Noble Peace Prize nominee. Through his writing, academic research and activities, he has campaigned for the rights of Uyghur people and challenged the Chinese authorities oppressive and apartheid policies which have developed nowadays to “China’s Uyghur Genocide”, The Chinese regime arrested him 6 years ago and jailed him for life.

Ilham, you are the Ilham (the inspiration) of Uyghur people and for everyone in the world who stands for freedom, free speech and dignity!

We will never forget you. In every breath we feel your suffering inside the dark Chinese prison.

We are fighting for your release and we pray for you, you will see the sun shine soon. You were born free, you don’t deserve to be imprisoned! The free world will stand with you always!

Read More

China’s vanishing Uighur graveyards

Catherine Philp Saturday July 25 2020, 12.01am, The Times

A new cemetery built on the outskirts of Aksu, Xinjiang, where bodies from a destroyed Uighur graveyard were moved. HECTOR RETAMAL/GETTY IMAGES

As contact with his family in China dwindled and ethnic Uighurs fleeing Xinjiang brought disturbing stories, Aziz Isa Elkun, a poet, academic and activist who lives in London, began speaking out about their plight.

Using Google Earth, he tracked down the site where his father was buried in 2017; the cemetery had been demolished, seemingly part of a pattern of erasing Uighur culture. CNN ran a story about the apparent destruction of more than 100 Uighur graveyards, featuring Mr Elkun and his story.

Days later CGTN, the international arm of the Chinese state broadcaster, interviewed Mr Elkun’s frail mother. She led a crew through a new “eco-friendly” cemetery. “We voluntarily applied to move the old grave here,” she said.

Continue reading: The Times

Hayatımın Baharı

Aziz İsa Elkün
translated by Sultan Karakaya

Seher yıldızı tebessüm içinde gülümsediğinde,
Baharım ellili yaşımda çiçek açtığında,
Aşka bu ömür hiç doymayıp geçtiğinde,
Dünya kuluna güzelmiş, aslında güzel imiş.

Olmasa âşık, bülbül çiçek dalına konmaz,
Olmasa delikanlı olgun, vuslat imkânına ulaşamaz,
Eğer olsa er, sözünden asla dönmez,
Emeğiyle doğru insan menziline ulaşır imiş!

Yıldızım meşale gibi gecenin parlağı,
Dolunay ise gölge yoldaşım oldu,
Gülüp çıkar hem güneşimin sevgi-ateşi
Gem vurmazsan ömrün böyle geçer imiş!

Read More