Flag of Xinjiang Uyghur (East Turkestan) T-Shirt
The East Turkestan independence movement is a broad term that refers to advocates of an independant, self-governing East Turkestan, also referred to as Xinjiang. Currently the area is under Chinese rule and is an autonomous region in the People's Republic of China.---------After the declarations of independence of the constituent republics of the area of West Turkestan (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) from the Soviet Union in 1991, calls for the liberation of East Turkestan from China began to surface again from many in the Turkic population.---------Those that use the term Uyghurstan tend to envision a state for the Uyghur people. Those groups that adopt this terminology tended to be allied with the Soviet Union while it still existed (Indeed, Russia incited and aided the rebellion in attempt to annexe these regions in the future). Since then some of the leaders of these groups have remained in Russia, Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, or have emigrated to Europe and North America (Canada and USA). It is worth noting that none of these identities are exclusive. Some groups support more than one such orientation. It is common to support both an Islamic and Turkic orientation for Xinjiang, for example, the founders of independant Republic in Kashgar in 1933 used names Turkic Islamic Republic of East Turkestan, Eastern Turkestan Republic and Republic of Uyghurstan at the same time.---------In general, the wide variety of groups who seek independence can be distinguished by the type of government they advocate and the role they believe an independant East Turkestan should play in international affairs. Groups who use the term East Turkestan tend to have an orientation towards western Asia, the Islamic world, and Russia. These groups can be further subdivided into those who desire secularism, and identify with the struggle of secular Kemal Atatürk in Turkey, versus those who want an Islamic theocracy and identify with Saudi Arabia, the former Taliban government in Afghanistan, or Iran. In many cases the latter diminish the importance or deny the existence of a separate Uyghur ethnicity and claim a larger Turanian or Islamic identity. These groups tend to see an independant East Turkestan in which non-Turkic, and especially non-Islamic minorities, such as the Han Chinese would play no significant role. Some of the groups that support independence for East Turkestan have been labelled terrorist organisations by both the People's Republic of China, the United Nations and/or the United States. Some noteable Uyghur organisations overseas include the Uyghur American Association (USA), East Turkestan Liberation Organisation (Transnational Hizb ut-Tahrir). The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (also East Turkestan Islamic Party) (Formerly Afghanistan), identified as a terrorist organisation by the governments of China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and the United States, as well as the United Nations.