It's really interesting to consider what the Web has done for information and liberation movements all over the globe. Some traces of that below...

Beijing faces up to Uighur nationalists from Le Monde Diplomatique

www.uygur.org/ (Eastern Turkistan National Freedom Center, Inc.)

China's Wild West (The Atlantic Monthly)

Uighur Language & Culture

Eastern Turkestan FAQ

Eastern Turkestan Information Bulletin

Gross Violations of Human Rights in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (Amnesty International)


from Justin Rudelson Oasis Identities: Uyghur nationalism along China's Silk Road (DS731 .U4 R84 1997):
While in Xinjiang in 1985, I heard numerous legends about the great past of the Uyghurs. Stories are told about Uyghur history and the origin of the people, but no one could provide me with an accurate and comprehensive account of Uyghur ethnic development. Uyghurs told me that their founding ancestors arrived in Xinjiang 6,000 years ago; intellectuals told of the relationship between rthe Uyghurs and the Huns, Ghengis Khan, and even Adolf Hitler. However, by piecing together Uighur history, I learned something startling: as they are presently defined, the modern Uyghurs have existed only since 1935... it was not until the mid-1930s that the Chinese government defined the modern Uyghurs as oasis-dwelling Muslims of Xinjiang's Tarim Basin. Prior to 1935, the name Uyghur was not associated with Islam. Moreover, during the nearly 500 years between 1450 and 1935, the name ceased to be used as an ethnic label...

The term Uyghur has had vastly differing meanings throughout its history. It was first (744-840 C.E.) used to refer to a Turkic, steppe, nomadic, shamanistic and Manichaean society in Mongolia. Later (844-932), it became the name for a sedentary, oasis, Buddhist, Manichaean, and Nestorian Christian society centered in Turpan. Finally (932-1450), it became the referent for an elite, primarily Buddhist, Turkic society centered on the Turpan oasis, which during this period was known as "Uyghuristan." In this case, the term was used to distinguish this society from the Islamic Turks living to the west... The identity became an historical undercurrent, part of a symbolic repertoire that could be tapped into or redefined when the occasion demanded.

That occasion presented itself in 1931 when Chinese government officials attempted to manipulate the hereditary leadership in the eastern Xinjiang oasis of Hami, plunging the region into ethnic turmoil. The violence set the local Turkic population, today defined as Uyghur, in opposition to the Han Chinese and to the Tungans (also known as Chinese Muslims or Hui), a non-Turkic people. More bloody battles ensued. Tungan armies from the neighboring Gansu province invaded to take advantage of the unrest in Xinjiang. In February of 1933, the rebellion against the Chinese government spread to the southern rim of the Tarim Basin. There, Turkic Muslims established an independent government called the Turkish Islamic Republic of East Turkestan (TIRET). By the end of 1933, Chinese aurthority in the region had virtually collapsed. TIRET, however, was crushed by Xinjiang's Chinese military leader, Sheng Shicai, who defeated the Turkic rebels with Soviet and Tungan assistance and set himself up as the leader of Xinjiang. (pp 4-6)

A few books from Annie:
CALL NO.     DS793.S62 M535 1998.
AUTHOR       Millward, James A., 1961-
TITLE        Beyond the pass : economy, ethnicity, and empire in Qing Central 
               Asia, 1759-1864 / James A. Millward.
IMPRINT      Stanford, Calif. : Stanford University Press, 1998.
Record 10 of 16
CALL NO.     DS793.S62 S38 1987.
AUTHOR       Seth, Vikram, 1952-
TITLE        From Heaven Lake : travels through Sinkiang and Tibet / Vikram 
IMPRINT      New York : Vintage Books, 1987, c1983.
Record 11 of 16
CALL NO.     DS793.S62 B37 1990.
AUTHOR       Benson, Linda.
TITLE        The Ili Rebellion : the Moslem challenge to Chinese authority in 
               Xinjiang, 1944-1949 / by Linda Benson.
IMPRINT      Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, c1990.
Record 12 of 16
CALL NO.     GN778.32.C5 B37 1999.
AUTHOR       Barber, E. J. W., 1940-
TITLE        The mummies of {232}Ur{232}umchi / Elizabeth Wayland Barber.
IMPRINT      New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 1999.
Record 13 of 16
CALL NO.     DS731.U4 R84 1997.
AUTHOR       Rudelson, Justin Jon.
TITLE        Oasis identities : Uyghur nationalism along China's Silk Road / 
               Justin Jon Rudelson.
IMPRINT      New York : Columbia University Press, 1997.
Record 14 of 16
CALL NO.     DS793.S62 P38 1994.
AUTHOR       Paula, Christa.
TITLE        The road to Miran : travels in the forbidden zone of Xinjiang / 
               Christa Paula.
IMPRINT      London : HarperCollins, 1994.
Record 15 of 16
CALL NO.     DS793.S62 F63 1986.
AUTHOR       Forbes, Andrew D. W.
TITLE        Warlords and Muslims in Chinese Central Asia : a political 
               history of Republican Sinkiang 1911-1949 / Andrew D.W. Forbes.
IMPRINT      Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York : Cambridge University 
               Press, 1986.
Record 16 of 16
CALL NO.     FOLIO DS793.S62 W43 1986.
AUTHOR       Weng, Wei-ch{176}{232}uan, 1949-
TITLE        Xinjiang, the Silk Road : Islam's overland route to China / Peter
IMPRINT      Hong Kong ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986.