Fortune Magazine Names Nury Turkel to “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” List

OSLO, NORWAY - 27 May 2019: Oslo Freedom Forum - Portraits. (Photo by Dan Taylor - ©Dan Taylor).

May 17, 2021, 4:50 p.m. EDT
For Immediate Release
Contact: Omer Kanat +1 (202) 790-1795

Nury Turkel, Board Chair of the Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), has been named to the Fortune Magazine 2021 “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” list.

Fortune notes his status as a “prominent human rights leader” urging Congressional action on China’s “sweeping internment, forced labor, and cultural genocide” against the Uyghur people. Fortune comments that “Turkel continues to make a potent case, calling on American companies, in particular, to reorganize their supply chains and cut ties” with the Uyghur Region.

“For decades, the world ignored extrajudicial killings and other atrocities against Uyghurs. This recognition of Nury Turkel as one of the world’s ‘50 greatest leaders’ shows that China’s genocide is now a global concern,” said UHRP Executive Director Omer Kanat. 

Mr. Turkel was recognized by the TIME “100 Most Influential People” list in 2020. A longtime advocate for Uyghur rights, he co-founded the Uyghur Human Rights Project in 2004 and previously served as a president of the Uyghur American Association.

Since his May 2020 appointment by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), he has continued speaking widely, including by providing elected officials with expert testimony. Most recently, he testified at a May 6th hearing held by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on“Atrocities Against Uyghurs and Other Minorities in Xinjiang,” and gave opening remarks at a USCIRF hearing on the complicity of US companies in Uyghur forced labor. He addressed the same urgent issue in a New York Times op-ed in January.

In a press release, USCIRF Chair Anurima Bhargava praised his work by saying “Commissioner Turkel’s efforts to stop and prevent the genocide of religious communities, especially on behalf of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in China, has had tangible impact and is an inspiration to us all.”

Photo credit: Dan Taylor/Human Rights Foundation