April 4, 2022
The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is saddened by the death of Ablikim Turkel, father of Uyghur attorney and Vice-Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Nury Turkel. Ablikim Turkel was 82 years old.
Ablikim Turkel was a mathematician, who graduated from Xinjiang University, and became a professor at Kashgar University, where he taught until the late 90s. His son, Nury Turkel became the first US-educated Uyghur lawyer in the United States.
In 2007, the Chinese government confiscated the passports of both parents, seen as a retaliation against Nury Turkel’s work defending human rights for the Uyghur people. Uyghur activists in the diaspora continue to face this reality for their work as human rights defenders.
‘’I am saddened to hear this heartbreaking news from my good friend, Nury. I know how painful the death of a parent can be, especially in our circumstances, where we are denied the right to grief our lost ones in our homeland, surrounded by our family. Nury is a champion of human rights, and his work has led to the separation from his family’’, said WUC President Dolkun Isa, in reaction to the news.
The WUC stands in firm solidarity with Nury Turkel and his family, and expresses its sincere condolences.