Turkey renews criticism of China over Uighur minority

Turkey has renewed its unusual criticism of China's treatment of its Muslim minority group, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu calling on the country to make a distinction "between terrorists and innocent people."

In an address to a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting on Monday, Cavusoglu said Turkey recognized "China's right to combat terrorism," but urged the country to respect freedom of religion and to safeguard Uighurs' and other Muslims' cultural identities.

Turkey, which shares cultural and religious ties with the Uighurs, has been the only majority Muslim country to criticize Beijing over a wide-ranging crackdown of religion and minority languages. The Foreign Ministry called China's treatment of Uighurs "a great cause of shame for humanity."

Cavusoglu in his speech also criticized Israel, saying human rights violations against Palestinians have "reached an alarming level."