Nuri Turkel visited Kazakhstan

Nuri Turkel (of Uyghur descent), the chair of the Inter-American Commission on Religious Freedom, who was welcomed at a private ceremony in Almaty on May 21, met with Uyghurs living in Almaty as part of his official visit.

US Commission on International Religious Freedom Chairman Nuri Turkel (Uyghur) met with Uyghurs living in Almaty during his official visit to Kazakhstan. At a special ceremony held in the "Hall of Friendship" in Almaty on May 21, Turkel was welcomed by representatives of Kazakhstan's society, intellectuals, youth and others.

Dolkuntay Abdulkhalil, member of the National People's Assembly of Kazakhstan and head of the Uyghur Cultural Center of the Republic of Kazakhstan, delivered the opening speech at the ceremony.

Then, senior advisor to the World Uyghur Congress, veteran politician Kahraman Gojamberdi, briefed the participants on the short biography and political activities of Mr. Nuri Turkel, who was the guest of the Government of Kazakhstan, and said that his appointment as chair of the American Commission on International Religious Freedom is of great psychological and practical significance to the Uyghur people. He reaffirmed the contribution of his work to political processes and wished him success in his future endeavours.

'The Uyghur issue is an important issue'

In the event which was held in an enthusiastic atmosphere, some well-known Uyghur intellectuals, writers and well-known people in Kazakhstan expressed their opinions and wished Nuri Turkel success.

Nuri Turkel, who thanked his compatriots for their warm welcome at the end of the ceremony, said he was excited to meet the Uighurs in Almaty, close to East Turkistan where the Uyghurs live extensively.

In his speech, he also spoke about the history and current work of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and how he was appointed to the position. He also emphasized that the Uyghur issue has become an urgent issue and is of great importance by the US government.

At the end of the ceremony, the local kaftan, duba and symbolic paraphernalia were presented to Nuri Turkel on behalf of the Uyghur community in Kazakhstan.

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