Thai-Turkish business group condemns bombing

The Turkish business community in Thailand has joined international condemnation of the terror attack at the Erawan shrine, but urged Thai officials not let their feelings steer the course of the investigation.

Ufuk Civelek, president of the Thai-Turkish Business Association, said the Turkish people shared the sadness of the victims' families.

"Terrorist activities, wherever they happen, affect not only the country in which they take place, but the whole world. We never support such things. Violence is not a solution to anything," said Mr Civelek, who has been working in the kingdom for four years.

"I also wish all the best and support the Thai government in bringing all the perpetrators to justice. But the authorities should not act with sentimental feelings and applying hi-tech equipment and scientific methods in concluding their analysis on the matter," said Mr Civelek.

Civelek: Violence offers no solution

Some media reports speculate ay the bomb might be the work of Uighur extremists with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Xinjiang province of western China.

This is based on the theory the attack was in retaliation for Thailand's repatriation of over 100 Uighur men to face prosecution in China, while some of their wives and children were sent to Turkey for resettlement.

ETIM is designated by both China and the US as a terrorist organisation.

"Turkey also faces challenges from refugees and terrorism threats but we don't think we should blame a nation or an ethnic group for bad things that some people do," said the businessman, who runs four English schools in Bangkok.

The Uighur issue has complicated relations between Turkey, Thailand and China. However, Mr Civelek said he hoped the Uighur minority and the Chinese government could eventually talk and settle their differences.

"But for the time being, countries like Turkey and Thailand are helping those seeking asylum for humanitarian reasons," Mr Civelek said.

Thousands of Uighurs were living in Turkey and been given Turkish passports, and Turkey also housed refugees fleeing wars in Syria and Iraq.

"Historically and spiritually, our ancestors migrated from the land where the Uighurs are living in China, which is why we are helping them. But minorities or foreigners living anywhere should follow the rules and laws there and should in return receive some sort of freedom," he said.

For the remaining 50-60 Uighur waiting for nationality verification in Thailand, the businessman said he hopes the government takes into account international humanitarian principles in its decision.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Achara Ashayagachat
Position: Senior reporter on socio-political issues