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International relations

Turkey accused of trading Uighurs for Chinese vaccine

Sinovac shots begin after delays, stirring suspicion of 'under the table' deal

Bekir Bozdag, then Turkey’s justice minister, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi sign the extradition treaty in May 2017, with Presidents Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Xi Jinping presiding.   © Anadolu Agency

ISTANBUL -- Turkey started mass inoculation with China's Sinovac vaccine on Thursday. But after its order for the vaccine faced delay after delay, some started to question if the country was being punished for dragging its feet in ratifying an extradition treaty it had signed with Beijing that could affect its Uighur diaspora.

The Turkish Health Ministry's medicine regulator said on Wednesday that it has granted emergency use authorization to Sinovac Biotech's vaccine. Mass inoculations began Thursday, starting with the elderly and health care workers.

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