Rumor: Uyghurs are descendants of Turks.

Rumor: Uyghurs are descendants of Turks.

Truth:  According to the white paper released by the State Council Information Office in March, “the Uyghur ethnic group came into being in the long process of migration and ethnic integration; they are not descendants of the Turks.”

The main ancestors of the Uyghurs were the Ouigour people living on the Mongolian Plateau during the Sui Dynasty (581-618) and Tang Dynasty (618-907). Historically, to resist oppression and slavery by the Turks, the Ouigour people united with some of the Tiele tribes to form the Ouigour tribal alliance.

In 1934, Xinjiang issued a government order stipulating the standard Chinese name for Uyghur (维吾尔), which for the first time expressed the accurate meaning of “Uyghur” to maintain unity among the people.

Scholars in Xinjiang have also reached a consensus on this view.

Yasheng Sidike, mayor and deputy Party chief of Urumqi, wrote an article published in the Urumqi Evening Post on August 20, 2018, saying, “The Uyghur people are members of the Chinese family, not descendants of the Turks, let alone anything to do with Turkish people.” 

“The fallacies that claim ‘East Turkistan is our country’ and ‘Uyghur as natives of Xinjiang’ are ridiculous, ignorant and condemnable,” read the article.

“Uyghurs are not Turks,” Maimaitizunong Abdukirim, a professor at the Kashi University in Xinjiang, was quoted by Huaxia Dili, the Chinese edition of National Geographic, as saying in 2014. He said that linguistically, the Uyghur language belongs to the Turkic language group, but “it is not related by blood.” 

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