Salih Hudayar was elected as the Prime Minister of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile on November 11, 2019.
Salih was born to a Uyghur business family in Atush, East Turkistan. He studied International Studies and Politics at the University of Oklahoma, and was a member of the Army National Guard from 2011-2013. He is currently pursuing a Masters in National Security Studies from the American Military University.
On June 4, 2000, Salih fled to the United States with his family where they became political refugees. He grew up in Oklahoma and despite being so young he began to spread awareness about East Turkistan and the situation there. He moved to Washington, DC in the summer of 2017 and founded the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement (ETNAM). Under his leadership, the East Turkistan National Awakening Movement sparked a national awakening across the East Turkistani diaspora and re-ignited the flame of independence. He spearheaded the call for restoring East Turkistan’s independence along with calling for the passage of a Uyghur / East Turkistan Policy Act. He reframed the East Turkistan issue as being an issue of territory and independence and not simply human rights and democracy.
He joined the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile at the Special Parliamentary Session in Washington, DC in April 20, 2019 and was subsequently appointed as the Ambassador to the United States & Assistant to the Prime Minister.
Since becoming a member of the East Turkistan Government-in-Exile, Salih Hudayar has continued advocating for democracy, political independence, and unity among his people. He has also been active in promoting non-violent resistance to Chinese occupation among the Uyghur and East Turkistani diaspora. His vision is for an independent East Turkistan that is democratic, pluralistic, and peaceful. He envisions that East Turkistan will one day be a shining example of democracy and human rights in not only Central Asia, but also the entire world.
Salih is fluent in Uyghur, Turkish, and English. He is married and currently resides with his wife and two children in Northern Virginia.
On this episode, Salih highlights the genocide being committed against the Uyghur people in East Turkistan by the Chinese government. He also shares the history and beauty of East Turkistan, his one way ticket destination of choice.