ANKARA: The Thai consulate in Turkey’s Istanbul city was closed on Thursday after being attacked overnight by a group protesting Thailand’s handling of ethnic Uyghurs who fled China.
About 200 people gathered in front of the consulate building on Wednesday night upon learning that some 200 Uyghurs who fled alleging repression in the Xinjiang region would be repatriated to China, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
The group began to attack the building with stones while chanting “Allah-u Akbar”. The attackers later broke into the building and scattered files and documents outside the street. One attacker also cut the rope of the Thai flag after climbing the flagstaff.
Police detained at least nine protestors.
Meanwhile, a Thai government official said 90 Uyghurs who had fled from China were repatriated in accordance with regulations, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
A total of 173 people from the minority Muslim community had arrived in Turkey from Thailand, where they were being held after fleeing China on July 2.
Turkey has ethnic and linguistic ties with the Uyghurs.
The refugees have faced repatriation to China, where they fear mistreatment.
According to the Thai consulate, there are a total of 1,300 Thai nationals presently living in Turkey.