Why I stand up against the Red Evil - China?
“The issue is more than religion, the issue is more than cultural identity, the issue is
more than racism, it is a humanitarian crisis against humanity; it is a
comprehensive genocide towards against Uyghurs in terms of culture, religion,
language and identity”. I do claim these statements for the last few years starting
from year 2016. I used to be a neutral academic who mainly focus on academia
and contributing to the humanity at large through teaching, research and
Note: Receiving the Outstanding Young Scientists Award by Turkey Academy of Sciences in
Currently, I am an Associate Professor at the Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University
and recipient of the Outstanding Young Scientists Award by Turkey Academy of
Sciences (2018-2021). Previously, I was Associate/Assistant Professor and Senior
Lecturer at International Islamic University Malaysia and University Kuala Lumpur,
Respectively. As a young Academic, I have published 4 books, 11 book chapters,
almost 55 SCOPUS & ISI indexed journal publications and attended more than 40
International and local conferences. I was awarded by the IIUM for publishing the
highest number of articles in citation-indexed journals in the social science
category in year 2017. I am named in the top 1% reviewer in the years 2018 and
2019 by Publons (WoS). Despite being a successful academic, I do stand up with
my people, I do stand up with intellectuals and scholars, I do stand up with
entrepreneurs and business people, I do stand with children, I do stand up with
women, basically, I do stand with humanity, more importantly, I do stand up with
my people – Uyghur people. My name is Burhan ULUYOL or it used to be Buerhan
Saiti according to my Chinese passport. Let’s take my personal life story to tell how
the Chinese government makes a crisis not only towards the Uyghurs but also it
towards humanity at large.
I was born in the rural countryside of Komul city (Or Hami in Chinese) in East
Turkistan (or it is so called Xinjiang in Chinese) in 1980. My father was a shepherd
and later become a farmer and my mother is illiterate women and a housewife, I
have one brother and one sister who currently reside where I was born. Despite
being the son of a farmer, in order to build a bright future, I have worked hard my
whole life. I was one of the top students in primary, secondary and high schools
despite my father discouragement in my studies.
In 1999, I was accepted by Dalian Haiyang University (on the East Coast of China)
with 2 years’ foundation studies in Urumqi where mainly we improve our Mandarin.
In 2001, I come to study at Dalian Haiyang University with 55 Han Chinese students
where most of the Uyghur students face discrimination. However, I was also one
of the top students there who received many university scholarships, corporate
scholarships and even national scholarships (in China, the scholarship is based on
merit, only top students can get the scholarship). In 2005, I completed my Bachelor
Degree as the Best Graduate. In order to be exposed to an international
education, I decided to continue my studies further overseas and I went to
Malaysia with financial assistance from my uncle. I improved my English from
March 2006 till December 2006. At the end of 2006, I started my Master’s Degree
in Business Administration at the University of Malaya which is one of the top 100
universities in the world. English is my third language, I managed to complete my
studies with outstanding grades by the end of 2008. Meanwhile, I had a chance
to work at one of the top international companies - Sime Darby – as Management
Executive where I worked from January 2008 until October 2009 (until I started my
PhD). Even though I became permanent staff at this company, but my ambition
was to complete my PhD.
In order to start my PhD, I resigned from Sime Darby and started my PhD in INCEIF
(International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, also known as the Global
University in Islamic Finance) in September 2009 with 3 years’ scholarship from
Central bank of Malaysia. Meaning that I completed my studies within 3 years in
order to not face any financial challenges. By this time, I got married with the
daughter of one of the Uyghur professors in Xinjiang University and currently I am
the father of one daughter.
The PhD program consists of coursework, qualifying exam, comprehensive exam
and PhD dissertation which is the American Style PhD program, the coursework
consists of 15 subjects. With my hard work, I managed to finish these within 3 years.
During this period, I visited Harvard, Oxford, Durham universities as a visiting student.
At the end, I completed my PhD in October 2012 with an award – outstanding
PhD thesis by Malaysian Finance Association. By this time, I became a father to
Due to my hard work and positive attitude towards life, I got an offer from the
University of Kuala Lumpur as a senior lecturer starting from December 2012. Due
to my outstanding performance, I was appointed as head of Department of the
Finance/Islamic Finance. I managed the department until May 2015. In order to
further excel in academia and research, I was advised to move to research
university. I got an offer from 3 different research universities such as University
Malaya, University Technology Malaysia and International Islamic University of
Malaysia (IIUM). Due to the better package, and more importantly, due to my
Islamic Finance research, I agreed to join the Institute of Islamic Banking and
Finance of IIUM. I was supposed to start my new chapter of my life in IIUM on 15
August 2015. By this time, I became a father to three girls.
Note: The day I was being promoted to Associate Professor
During this transition period, I had to go back and visit my parents in Komul in East
Turkistan and my wife and children went back home in March 2015 due to my
father-in-law’s illness and he passed away in June 2015. Of course, from year 2006
till 2015, we went back home several times (once every two years or sometimes
once a year). Every time we went back with fear and worries, when the police
come and question us. It never happened until my last trip which was in July 2015.
One fine day of July 2015, I flew to Urumqi via Guangzhou airport. When I arrived
to the border of Guangzhou airport, two police officers were waiting for me, the
long waited event happened here. They took my passport and IC card after the
immigration clearance and asked me to go with them to a hotel. I told them my
parents were waiting for in Urumqi airport and the death of my father-in-law. Of
course, they did not care about anything and asked me to follow them. They
brought me to a hotel which was located in the city centre, they questioned and
interrogated about what I was doing in Malaysia. I told them I was an ordinary
academic who focused on teaching, research and publications. They checked
my laptop, phones, suitcases, photos, videos and many others. I cooperated,
because I was confident that I never went against the Chinese government and
the communist party. Also, I did not do anything which would trigger the anger of
China. I showed them all of my certificates were around 30-40 certificates and
told them these were impossible to achieve if I was involved in any political
activities. Thank God, they released me after questioning the whole night and
they told me now no one would disturb me if I went back home. I was so happy
that they would not disturb me again. I came to Urumqi and stayed with my
Mother-in-Law for a few days and attended the funeral of my father-in-law.
Finally, I was excited to meet my parents and departed to the countryside where
I was born. It was 4 days left to the Muslim festival – Ramadan Holiday and I was
excited to celebrate this rare occasion with my beloved parents and relatives.
The day after, my step brother invited us to his house to break the fast.
The unexpected sad event happened after we returned home around 9 pm. It
was 3 days left to our Ramadan festival. There were 4 police officers who broke
into our house and they asked me to go with them to the city centre which is 70km
away from my house and they said they would release me within 24 hours. But no
one believed that they would release so fast. I told them that I was questioned
and investigated in Guangzhou and even called the police in Guangzhou. But
the local police did not listen to them as well. My mother, my wife and 3 under-
aged daughters were crying and my father advised me to go with them, my
father told me that I cannot go against them. Finally, they took me into the car
and drove to the city centre. When we approached a building, Initially, I do not
know what building it was, they asked me to wear a black sack as it was their
procedure and they brought me to an underground house and opened my eyes.
It was not a hotel, it was not guest house, it was a lock-up centre, there was
nothing except a tiger chair, no bed, no window and it was a dark room. I was so
shocked and in fear. This never happened in my life and it was really a shock for
me. They left me the whole night and was trying to attack me with psychologically.
I worried about my family, especially my under-aged children, I worried about my
future career. The next day, they started to interrogate me. They were asking
exactly same questions which were asked in Guangzhou. I answered their
questions one by one in an honest manner without hiding or lying about anything.
The main questions were:
- My main activities in Malaysia
- Involve any political matters
- My contacts in Malaysia
- Involvement in helping any Uyghurs in Malaysia
- Checked my phones, emails, google drive and almost everything about me.
They were repeating the same questions again and again so that they can find
out any differences between the questions. My replies were:
- I was an ordinary and neutral academic who focuses only on education
- If I did anything wrong politically, I would not come back to China
- I was so loyal to the Chinese government, I did not ask any asylum when I
visited USA, UK, Australia, Europe and among others.
- I kept my Chinese passport for almost 10 years, and one day would
contribute something to my region if I had a chance to go back to our
- Never help any Uyghur to get visa from Turkish embassy or any among many
- They did not find anything illegal in my emails, phones and among others.
I begged them to release me for Ramadan Holiday so that I could celebrate this
rare occasion with my beloved family members. But my hope was blast, they kept
me there for 5 days without any bed, pillows in the dark and narrow room. There
was a guard who accompanied me all the time, they even went to the toilet
together with me. On the 6th day, they brought me to a hotel where I basically
was on house arrest and there was someone from higher authority (from Urumqi)
who was appointed to investigate me again. With questioning and interrogation,
Finally, I was released 2 days later. Meaning in total they locked me up for seven
You can imagine how my parents, my relatives, my wife and children were happy.
I come to know that my mother vomited blood and all family members worried
that I would not come out. My parents advised to not come back again if I
managed to get out from China. My father told me that they would be happy as
long as I raise my 3 daughters properly. These long and dark days ended on the
2nd August 2015 after we managed to get out of China.
Note: The day we were waiting to depart to Kuala Lumpur from Beijing Airport
On 15 August 2015, I started my new chapter in IIUM where I focused both
teaching and publications. I was appointed as Head of Research and
Publications department and Editor of Journal of Islamic Finance. I was awarded
by the IIUM for publishing the highest number of articles in citation-indexed journals
in social science category in year 2017 (only one nomination from Social Science
Note: The awarding ceremony in IIUM
In year 2016, the Chinese government relaxed the passport policy toward Uyghurs.
I asked my father to get a passport and visit me. After insisting several times, he
agreed to get the passport to visit me. On May 2016, my shepherd father was out
from China for the first time in his life with my mother. They spent 3 months with me
which were the most unforgettable days in my life. I never thought that would be
last time seeing them.
Life went on! Starting from late 2016, there was a lot of bad news coming in. My
father went through a serious surgery, some of my friends were taken to
concentration camps and the mass detentions were going on. My contact with
our family was getting less day by day. The Chinese government was confiscating
the passports of Uyghur people and closing the border to Uyghur people day by
day. By the end of 2017, the red evil completely closed the border to Uyghurs,
meaning that they couldn’t go out from China. In June 2017, the Egyptian
government deported back some Uyghur students to China where they faced
harsh consequences. Also the former Malaysian prime minster borrowed a lot of
money from China and we started to worry about our safety in Malaysia.
If there is a will, there will be a way! Around May 2017, the rector of my current
university (IZU) come to Malaysia to choose academics in Islamic Finance. Luckily,
I was chosen by him based on my academic performance and asked me to start
my new life in Turkey. Due to my Associate Professorship, I waited until end of
The time was flying and my last day was 15 December 2017 with IIUM and we
waited an extra one week so that my daughter could finish her term 1 of grade 3.
The amazing story begins:
Originally, our flight was on 24 December 2017 which was the Chrismas eve and a
fine Sunday. On 21st of December 2017, I had a dream, someone ordered me to
get out of Malaysia before Saturday, but our flight was on Sunday. What a dream?
What should I do? Should I fly out on Saturday or Sunday? I am hesitating what to
do? On 22nd of December 2017 (Friday), I finished my congressional prayer and
handed over the office key to management office. I was on the way to my car (It
is just 50 meters away from my office), there was a WeChat message and it was
from Police Chief from my city – Komul. He said that he came down to Malaysia
with official work and asked me to meet him. I was surprised and nervous (I am
wondering until today why Malaysian government allowed him to reach until
Kuala Lumpur), but I tried to control myself and told him that: today my daughter
has exam and well meet tomorrow on Saturday. I worried that he would block my
passport if I said I did not want to meet him. Finally, he agreed to meet me on
Saturday. I went back home and told my wife about my dream and what had just
happened. As you know, as a woman she worried more and asked me to get out
from KL Saturday early morning. But I refused to do so, if we leave, we leave
together. So the whole night I was booking tickets for Saturday morning and left
from Kuala Lumpur on Saturday early morning after almost 11 years stay in
Malaysia where I met my partner, where I had my 3 princesses, where I got my
further higher educations, where I had a lot of good memories. Of course, I got
clearance from university, taxation office and royal police Malaysia as well (with
letter of good conduct).
Departing hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, waiting to departure, it was taken by my first
When I arrived to Qatar airport for transit, there were tens of messages from the
police officer which asked me to meet him. But he did not know that I was out
from KL in the early morning. Of course, I did not tell him until he found out where
Starting from the 2nd of January 2018, I started my new chapter of life in Istanbul
as Associate Professor. The police chief of Komul city found out that I was in Turkey
and started to disturb me. He sent me several WeChat messages saying that I
moved to a sensitive country, I should not be involved in any political activities,
and also indicated that I would cooperate with them. Also he warned me that I
would not expose his trip to Malaysia. I ignored his messages several times and he
called me via WeChat, I did not answer him. Then he came to my parent’s house
and he called me again. But I still did not answer it. Then, he took several videos
of my father and sent them to me. My father asked me to cooperate with them
and not to get involved in any political activities. Also he indicated that I moved
to Turkey without informing my parents. Then I called my father several hours later,
I told my father I explained to him that I should not contact with them and not
cooperate with them, any government has security concern, if I cooperate with
them the Turkish government might deport me out from the country. Then my
father understood the consequences and respected my choice.
After a few days later, the police chief again started to send messages to me, this
time his message was clear that he asked me to work for Chinese government as
a spy, otherwise they would destroy my two families. That was expected from him
long ago, and I prepared for that long ago as well. My reply was: “Whatever you
said, whatever you sent to me are recorded. Also I have recorded your Malaysian
trip. If you touch my parents, my brother and my sister, I would expose whatever
you said and whatever you did, I would expose them to the international media.”
He was shocked with my reply and stepped back and said that: “I did not expect
this answer from you, we would not touch your parents, then you do not get
involved in politics”. The deal was agreed upon and I focused on my academia.
From this movement, I lost contact with my parents completely. I found out that
the police ordered my parents not to pick up my phone. However, I have very
minimal contact with my sister.
By this time, most of my relatives were taken to concentration camps, but I did not
dare to speak out. They would do the same to my parents if I spoke the truth. Then
I started to live a depressed life with a broken psychology. I felt very guilty about
them due to the brutal sufferings from the Chinese government. I could not stand
up for them due to the safety of my parents.
The list of my relatives who were detained by October 2018 (15 relatives):
Brother in law
Step brother and His wife
Uncle and his sons and
Uncle and his son
Sulaiman Yakup and his wife
Iskandar Yakup and his wife
Wife of Bawdun Yakup
Note: it is 100% sure that they were detained. Few of them are being released after few years later.
It is very difficult to verify whom are still inside or outside.
As I mentioned earlier, I had very minimal contact with my sister. Sometimes, she
unfriended on WeChat and sometimes she added me. I asked her to update her
status regularly so that I could know if they were safe. Almost every day I had
checked her status or expected some messages from her. Sometimes she
begged me not to send any messages. This was going on for several months.
According to my sixth sense, I sent a message to my sister saying that if something
happened to my father send me 1 dead flower, my mother 2 dead flowers, for
herself 3 dead flowers. Just after one day, it was on 11 November 2018, around
2pm, I received 2 dead flowers and she said that me and our mother. 2 dead
flowers represented my mother and you can image my feelings. My mother and
my sister were on the way to concentration camps.
That time was time to stand up for my mother, that time was time to stand up for
my sister. That time was time to break the silence.
I sent a WeChat message to the police chief and told him them, I kept silent even
though many relatives were detained, but he did not keep his promise. I ordered
him to release my mother and sister immediately, otherwise I would expose
whatever he said and did. I sent back to him his recorded voice and he replied
to me immediately saying to keep calm. I told him that it is not time to keep silent
or calm, it is time to release my mother and sister immediately. He did not promise
anything, but our conservations were continued. What was a surprise and
pleasant news: I received a WeChat message from my sister and she told me that
she was released after 3 hours. Of course, the first question was: where is our
mother? her reply was: she was taken to a concentration camp one week before
and my sister did not dare to tell me about it. That time my mother with 60 years
old lady with diabeties.
Few days before being sent
to concentration camp
The day she being released from
I was angry even more and kept sending message to the police chief to release
my mother. Our battle continued. Again, he did not promise anything, but asked
me to keep calm. 3 days later, I received a flower from my sister which indicated
that now the dead flower was alive. Thank God, I managed to save my mother
from the concentration camp and I managed to call her and hear her voice.
Life was going on with fear and stress. In early December, 3 weeks later after the
release of my mother, I had a dream, my father collapsed out of the sky and as
you know it is not a good sign. I started to worry about the safety of my father. Just
one day after, I received a dead flower from my sister. if you still remember, it
represents my father. Oh my God, now this 70 year old man with several recent
surgeries was being sent to a concentration camp. Where is the humanity of those
people? Where is the mercy of those people? Of course, we cannot expect the
mercy or humanity from the totalitarian communist party.
Note: my father was hospitalized and went through 3 times surgeries just few months before
being sent to concentration camp.
Again with the same strategy, I sent a WeChat message to the police chief.
Unfortunately, I failed this time. He had already unfriended me on WeChat. What
should I do? I purchased an international call card and called him, but he did not
answer it. Then I sent to him normal phone messages and the above photos. It did
not work. Then I started to post the police chief’s photos and video recordings on
social media. I do not know whether it worked or not, but my father was being
released after 10 days later.
The issue did not stop here. One day my sister completely disappeared and she
blacklisted me on WeChat. It was very strange. I started to worry again about my
sister. I came to know that she was being sent to a concentration camp with some
other female relatives. I suspected that my sister and my auntie Ayhan Hamdul (in
the list below) were being sent to a concentration camp because they had
contacted me via WeChat. They did not expose anything, but we just greeted
The list of detainees:
Father (being released)
Mother (Being released)
Rizwangul Seti (being released now after 5-6
months later )
Auntie – wife of Amat Yakup
(the is in the list of above)
Hamrahan Abdirehim (being released after 5-6
Auntie – younger sister of my
I felt very sorry about my sister whom separated from her 4 children (father of these
children was jailed for 7 years after just donating around USD800 to one
hospitalized man which was considered as illegal donation, have you heard of an
illegal donation?). Also my auntie Ayhan Hamdul has 2 down syndrome children
out of 3 children (one of them passed away) was being sent to the concentration
camp. Can you keep silent in these kinds of situations? Can you ignore your sister
and your close relatives?
My sister: Before concentration camp
After concentration camp
Ayhan Hamdul: Before concentration
After being released from
This is how I became an activist to advocate for the Uyghur crisis to the world to
spread the truth. This is how Chinese government destroys our family members,
this is how the Chinese government is destroying our identity, this is how the
Chinese government is destroying culture, this is how the Chinese government is
destroying our religion and this is how the Chinese government is making a
genocide against humanity. I have summarized some most important issues and
1. Mass incarceration since the Holocaust based on religion and ethnicity. A
brainwashing campaign that considers religion as a mental illness to be
2. Mass sentencing of religious and cultural figures as thought criminals.
3. De facto full-scale ban of normal Islamic practices (prayer, Qur'an, Nikah,
Janazah and Hijab, including everyday phrases.)
4. Eradication of Uyghur language from the education system and public
5. Coercion of Uyghur women into marriages with Han Chinese men.
6. Systematic separation of children from their parents, even from extended
families, and forced assimilation of them to Han Chinese identity.
7. Creation of human organ bank from the inmates of the camps to be
harvested on order.
8. Transferring of hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs to other provinces
throughout China after arbitrarily sentencing them to long prison terms.
9. Systemic destruction of mosques and other cultural heritage of Uyghurs,
including Uyghur books, traditional household items and religious symbols.
10. Severe restrictions of inter-city and even inter-neighborhood movement.
11. Destroying of graveyards and coercion of Muslims to cremation of bodies
instead of burial.
12. De facto communication blockade with people overseas through the
incarceration in the camps.
The first one from the left: Yusuf Yakup, first young brother of my father, was given
a 12 years’ jails term and completed his term in year 2016 and was taken back
again to a concentration camp. I do not know where he is now.
The second from left: Amat Yakup, second younger brother of my father, he was
a businessman for almost for 20 years with no criminal record. He was taken to a
concentration camp in July 2017 and until today there is no news about his
whereabouts. His 3 daughters are studying in Turkey and his wife Hamrahan
Abdurehim was sent to a concentration camp the same time with my sister (it was
around December 2018).
The one in the middle: my father Seti Yakup
The first one from right: Mamat Yakup, who used to be a government worker and
he resigned from his position in order to help my second uncle Amat Yakup. He
was arrested in Guangzhou while he was selling melons in June 2018. There is no
news about his whereabouts since then. His wife, his son and his daughter are living
in Istanbul. They do not have any information about him.
The one in the middle, the poorest woman on earth, her husband, three sons, three
daughters-in-law are victim of the concentration camp. She is taking care of the
10 children of these victims.
Hamrahan Abdurehim – wife my second uncle –
Amat Yakup was sent to the concentration camp
the same time with my sister (it was around
December 2018). From recent news we have come
to know that she is being released. Her daughters
can’t even hear the voice of their mother after
Nurali Abliz – Son of my uncle from mother side. He used to be
a security officer who served the Chinese government. Even
though he was working for the Chinese government, he was
sent to a concentration camp as well. I do not have any
information about whether was released or not.
Abdusalam Abdurexit – my cousin, son of another auntie from
my mother side. He used to be factory worker and very modern
guy who does not practice religion. I have come to know that
he was sent to concentration camp as well. Also, I do not have
any information about him whether released or not.