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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 03, 1970

HON. JOHN M. MURPHY OF NEW YORK, IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 'ISA YUSUF ALPTEKIN--DEFENDER OF FREEDOM'

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    Congressman Murphy introduces Isa Yusuf Alptekin on the House floor, describing him as an "eloquent defender of freedom."
    "Hon. John M. Murphy of New York, in the House of Representatives, 'Isa Yusuf Alptekin--Defender of Freedom'," March 03, 1970, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 116, Part 5 (March 3, 1970 to March 11, 1970), Extensions of Remarks, March 3, 1970, 5795-5796. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208600
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ISA YUSUF ALPTEKIN—DEFENDER OF FREEDOM

HON. JOHN M. MURPHY

OF NEW YORK

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Tuesday, March 3, 1970

Mr. MURPHY of New York. Mr. Speaker, Isa Yusuf Alptekin is the kind of man you meet once in a lifetime—a man of multiple accomplishments, a hero, but most of all, an eloquent defender of freedom—seeking people against the ruthless suppression of human rights. You know this, Mr. Speaker, for you kindly and warmly greeted Mr. Alptekin and his son, Arslan, during their recent visit to the Nation's Capital. Accompanied by Gulamettin Pahta and my good friend Milton J. Clark, they came to my office for advice. That was all they sought advice on how they could best bring before the world the plight of the forgotten people of Eastern Turkestan. Mr. Speaker, I include in behalf of Mr. Alptekin and the subjugated Turkic people his biography and unedited appeal from the people of Eastern Turkestan to the nations of the free world. This moving appeal will not, I pray, go unnoticed or unrewarded.

The material follows:

ISA YUSUF ALPTEKIN

Isa Yusuf Alptekin was born in 1908 in the city of Yangihissar, a subdistrict of Kashgar in Eastern Turkestan. He attended a local religious school and at the age of 20 proceeded to Western Turkestan as an employe of the Chinese consulate. His stay in Western Turkestan coincided with a period of severe Bolshevik oppression, which led in turn to a violent outbreak of national resistance. These events were profoundly moving for young Alptekin, who became involved in politics and took part in the national liberation movement.

While in Western Turkestan, Alptekin established contact with Eastern Turkestani nationalists living there and worked closely with them. His objectives were to prevent Soviet infiltration of Eastern Turkestan and at the same time, to secure full autonomy for his land under Chinese domination.

The outbreak of a large-scale uprising against Chinese rule in 1933 opened the way for the Soviets to intervene in concert with Chinese war lords to suppress the national movement in Eastern Turkestan. Because of this tragedy, Alptekin went to Nanking, then capital of China, to work for the expulsion of the Soviets from Eastern Turkestan and for the granting by the central government of China of full autonomy to his country. He represented Eastern Turkestan in the parliament of China between 1935-1946.

Chinese atrocities in Eastern Turkestan became the cause for another large-scale revolt in I944. It was at this time that the central government of China was forced to grant to the native people the right of administering the internal affairs of their own land. Thus, after a long exile, Alptekin found his way home. In 1947 he was appointed Secretary General of the provincial government of Eastern Turkestan.

When Eastern Turkestan was overrun by the Peking regime in 1949, Alptekin was forced to leave again and seek asylum in India. He lived for five years in Kashmir until his departure for Turkey in 1955. He now has Turkish nationality and resides in that country.

During his stay in China in the years between 1933 and 1946, Alptekin published the magazines ALTAY and TIYANSHAN in both Turkic and Chinese languages. He carried on his struggle for the freedom of Eastern Turkestan between 1946 and 1949 while publishing the magazine ALTAY and the Newspaper ERK in Urumchi.

He has travelled far and wide representing the cause of his motherland, exploring avenues for its liberation. For this purpose he bias visited Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia, Ceylon, Burma, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Aden, Somalia, and West Germany.

He has met and talked with such statesmen and leaders as Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, Mohammad All Jinnah, Mohammad All (the Prime Minister of Pakistlan in 1955), Field Marshal Ayub Khan, Kings Abdulaziz Ibn Saud and Faysal of Saudi Arabia, King Farouk of Egypt, King Hussein of Jordan, King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Abdulkarim Kasim of Iraq, President Cevdet Sunay of Turkey, Prime Minister Suleiman Demirel of Turkey, and others. During his trips he has met not only state leaders but also bas interviewed a great number of chiefs of various political parties, dignitaries and journalists.

Alptekin has participated in international conferences and delivered speeches on the subjeot of Turkestan, managing to secure resolutions in favor of the national cause of his country: the Afro-Asian Conference held in New Delhi in 1960, the Baghdad Conference of Islamic countries held in 1963, the World Congress of Islam held in Karachi in 1964, the Afro-Asian Islamic Conference held in Mogadiscio, Somalia, in 1965, and Mutamar Islam held in Mecca in 1965.

His eloquent defense of this cause has also been appreciated by the Turkish people, so that he is often invited to give lectures in universities, plants and student unions. In 1968 alone, he lectured on twenty six occasions.

Alptekin is now President of the Eastern Turkestani Immigrants’ Association in Istanbul and also the head of the National Center for the Liberation of Eastern Turkestan. He has a very good command of Turkish and Chinese, which he speaks as fluently as his mother tongue. He also speaks English and Russian to some extent.

--

AN APPEAL FROM THE PEOPLE OF EASTERN TURKESTAN TO THE NATIONS OF THE FREE WORLD

ATROCITIES

We are the people who sought refuge in the free world to escape the horrors of an inferno in this modern age of civilization. In our homeland from which we have been exiled and for whose liberation we have been fighting are 10 million captive people suffering over the years under the most horrible and the most brutal subjugation of imperialism. Our land possesses rich sources of wealth, both on surface and underground. It covers an area of 2 ,000,000 square kilometers. Yet, the rightful owners of the country do not have any right to benefit from their own resources due to their deprivation of all facilities.

This is the land we call "Eastern Turkestan". Geographically, it is linked with Outer Mongolia., Western Turkestan, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Tibet and China Proper. The name "Sinkiang", which the Chinese arbitrarily applied to this land, means "New Dominion", suggestive of the historical fact that Eastern Turkestan had been outside the borders of the Chinese empire only a century ago.

This is the unfortunate land we belong to and this is the land we left as its unfortunate exiles. We are here in the free world with a mission of difficult task. Our immediate aim is to give alarm to the free world against the "Yellow Peril" which, in the event of erroneous identification and lack of decisive action, may at any time cause destruction to the whole world of freedom and mankind. Needless to say, the Soviet Union is the primary target of this peril. It is also our aim to publicize the importance of our homeland and to arouse interest for it in the free world.

It will be a great achievement for the people of Eastern Turkestan, now under the Red Chinese domination, if they are given an assurance at this moment of despair.

ENTREATY

The people of Eastern Turkestan wish:

That the nations of the free world use their good office to persuade the Government of Nationalist China to declare that Eastern Turkestan is independent;

That the nations of the free world especially the Moslem states try to bring the problem of Eastern Turkestan before the United Nations Organization as an item for debate;

That the influx of Chinese colonists from China to Eastern Turkestan be protested; and that genocide and persecution be condemned;

That academic institutes be founded to undertake research work concerning Eastern Turkestan;

That a freedom movement for the people of Eastern Turkestan be sponsored;

That the children of the Eastern Turkestani exiles be granted scholarships to study in various countries of the world.

ISA YUSUF ALPTEKIN,

President of National Liberation Center

of Eastern Turkestan and former Secretary

General of the Government of

Eastern Turkestan.