Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria

Turkistan Islamic Party

Turkistan Islamic Party
Ideology Uyghur nationalism
Sunni Islamism
Islamic fundamentalism
Leaders Abu Rida al-Turkestani, Ibrahim Mansour
Headquarters Syria[1][2][3] (Jisr ash-Shighour in Idlib governate, Lattakia governate)
Area of operations Idlib governate, Lattakia governate, Aleppo Governate
Part of Turkistan Islamic Party
Battle of Victory
Army of Conquest[4]

Turkey National Intelligence Organization (MİT) (suspected by the Syrian government)[5]
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan[7]
East Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA)[8]
Ahrar ash-Sham
Jaysh al-Nasr


Hezbollah [9]
Iran Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps [9]
Battles and wars

Syrian Civil War

The Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria is the branch of the Uyghur Islamist Turkistan Islamic Party which operates in Syria in the Syrian Civil War.


The Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria uses the Jihadist Shahada flag with the name of the group in Arabic below the shahada: (الحزب الإسلامي التركستاني لنصرة أهل الشام) (تۈركىستان ئىسلام پارتىيىسى شام شۆبىسى) "Turkistan Islamic Party for the Support of the People of al-Sham" (Turkish: Türkistan İslam Cemaati Şam ehlinin yardımcıları). TIP in Syria also calls itself by the name of "Turkistan Islamic Party in the land of al-Sham" (الحزب الإسلامي التركستاني في بلاد الشام). An article titled “Oh, Chinese and Russian Regimes, the Arab People’s Revolution Will Never Forget You Shameful Stances,” appeared in TIP's magazine "Islamic Turkistan" Issue #11 which attacked the Syrian government.[10][11] ِAn article titled "The Truth Has Supporters as the Tyrant Has Soldiers" was released by TIP's magazine Issue #12 which also attacked the Syrian government.[10][12][13] A Jabhat al Nusra member named Abu Rabah helped Uyghur militants start their first camp in Syria and a Turkish language website based in Turkey was launched to recruit "Uyghur mujahideen" to fight in Syria for the Al-Qaeda affiliated Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party.[14] A Turkish-Dutch foreign fighter in Syria Israfil Yilmaz released a picture of Turkistan Islamic Party members.[15] The leader of TIP (ETIM) in Syria was Abu Rida al-Turkestani (أبو رضا التركستاني).[16][17] In May 2015 in Jisr al-Shugour the Syrian army killed Abu Rida al-Turkestani near a hospital.[18][19][20]


Syrian Churches have been demolished by Turkistan Islamic Party Uyghur fighters, who exalted in the acts of destruction, and in Homs and Idlib battlefields the Turkistan Islamic Party cooperated with Uzbek brigades and Jabhat al-Nusra, Jabhat al-Nusra and IS (ISIL) compete with each other to recruit Uyghur fighters.[21] In Jisr al-Shughur a church's cross had a TIP flag placed on top of it after the end of the battle.[22] The Uzbek group Katibat al-Tawhid wal Jihad (Tavhid va Jihod katibasi) released a video featuring themselves and the Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party attacking and desecrating Christian Churches in Jisr al-Shughur.[23][24] Jabhat al Nusra and Turkistan Islamic Party fighters cleansed the rural area around Jisr al-Shughour of its Syrian Christian inhabitants and slit the throat of a Syrian Christian along with his wife accusing them of being Syrian government agents.[25] The Saudi news agency Al-Arabiya said that the area was Alawite.[26][27]

Child soldiers

Camps training children for Jihad are being run by the Turkistan Islamic Party in Syria.[28][29][30] Uyghur child soldiers being instructed in Sharia and training with guns were depicted in a video released by TIP.[31]

The village of Az-Zanbaqi in Jisr al-Shughur's countryside has become a base for a massive amount of Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party militants and their families in Syria, estimated at around 3,500, military camps in the area are training hundreds of children from these families; Hezbollah media, Iranian media and Syrian government media accused Turkish intelligence of being involved in transporting these Uyghurs via Turkey to Syria, with the aim of using them first in Syria to help Jabhat Al-Nusra and gain combat experience fighting against the Syrian Army before sending them back to Xinjiang to fight against China if they manage to survive.[32][33][34][35] The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Chechens who defected to ISIS were replaced with the Uyghur Turkistan Islamic Party allied with Al-Qaeda.[36][37] The allegiance of TIP towards the Al-Qaeda leadership led them to work with the Army of Conquest, Ahrar Ash-Sham and Nusra Front since Caucasian fighters like the Chechens defected to ISIS.[37]

Turkish support

Turkish connections were used by Uyghur fighters to go into Syria and the humanitarian Uyghur Eastern Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) which is located in Turkey sent Uyghurs into Syria, endorsed the killing of the pro-China Imam Juma Tayir, applauded attacks in China, and posted on its website content from the TIP.[38]

The Ambassador of Syria to China, Imad Moustapha, has accused Turkey of facilitating the entry of Uighur jihadists into Syria.[39]

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar wrote an article accusing Turkey of supporting the Turkistan Islamic Party against Syria, with a Turkish-based website recruiting "Uyghur Mujahideen" to come to Turkey and help them enter Syria to fight the Syrian government.[40][41][42]

Turkey has been accused of helping the entry of the Turkistan Islamic Party Uighurs into Idlib who then took over the Syrian Arabs houses.[43]

In the area to Aleppo's southwest, the entry via Turkey of Uyghurs into Syria was reported by a Syrian Christian who said they have seized control of Al Bawabiya village.[44][45]

The Islamist Turkish publisher "Beyaz Minare Kitap" (White Minaret Book) published a Turkish language book titled "Türkistan'dan Şehadete Hicret Hikayeleri 1" containing the biographies of Turkistan Islamic Party fighters along with praise of TIP fighters by Abdullah al-Muhaysini.[46][47]

On 10 December 2014, in Zeytinburnu, an assassin killed the anti-Uzbekistan government Islamist Uzbek Imam Shaykh Abdullah Bukhoroy (Abdullah Bukhari).[48][49][50] The Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir released statements on Islamist websites which attacked the Uzbekistan government of Islam Karimov and blamed them for the assassination.[51][52] The Uyghur Eastern Turkistan Education and Solidarity Association (ETESA) and Uzbek Islamist exiles demonstrated against the assassination and denounced Putin and the Uzbek government under Karimov in the Fatih district of Istanbul.[53]

The Turkey-based Uyghur website "Doğu Türkistan Bülteni", which supports the Turkistan Islamic Party, reported that the Uyghur diaspora in Küçükçekmece and Zeytinburnu were in fear after the assassination of Uzbek Imam Abdullah Bukhari and the Uyghurs were panicking over reports of Chinese loyalist Uyghur agents sent to Istanbul to hunt down separatist Uyghurs as Russia, Iran, and Assad were fighting against the Turkmens and Turkestan Islamic Party Uyghur fighters.[54][55]

Competition with ISIL

The militant organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (known as ISIS or ISIL) competes with the Al-Qaeda allied Turkistan Islamic Party to recruit Uyghur fighters.[6]

ISIL released a video in June 2015 featuring an 80 year old Uyghur man who came to join ISIS in Syria along with his grandchildren, wife, and daughter after he was inspired by his son who died in combat in Syria. The video featured Uyghur children singing about martyrdom and a 10 year old Uyghur child threatening China, saying : "O Chinese kuffar (non-believers), know that we are preparing in the land of the khilafah (caliphate) and we will come to you and raise this flag in Turkestan with the permission of Allah.”[56][57][58][59][60] The old Uyghur man said "'I made hijrah accompanied by my four grandsons, my daughter and my wife".[61][62][63][64][65]

The Turkish run English language BGNNews news agency reported that the Turkish Meydan newspaper discovered that Uyghur fighters joining ISIL were being helped by businessman Nurali T., who led an Zeytinburnu district based network in Istanbul, which produced counterfeit Turkish passports numbering up to 100,000 to give to Uyghurs from China and help them go to Turkey form where they would enter Iraq and Syria to join ISIL, Uyghurs from China travel to Malaysia via Cambodia and Thailand and then travel onto Turkey, since a visa is not needed for travel between Turkey and Malaysia, then staying at locations in Istanbul, and then going to Iraq and Syria by traveling to southeastern Turkey, the information was revealed by AG who participates in the network, he noted that even though Turkish authorities are able to detect the fake passports they do not deport the Uyghurs and allow them into Turkey, AG said that: “Turkey has secret dealings with the Uighurs. The authorities first confiscate the passports but then release the individuals.”[66]

Two Turkish-government issued Istanbul-residence permit application forms of ISIS fighters in Syria named Abduleziz Abdullah and Abdulrehman Memrullah showing their nationality labelled as "DOĞU TÜRKISTAN" (East Turkestan) were seized by the SDF and YPG.[67][68]


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