Foreign Ministry expresses regret over Russian ban of Crimean Parliament
ANKARAThe Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed “regret” over the Russian High Court’s approval of a ban on the activities of the Crimean Tatar Parliament on Oct. 3.
“It is saddening that Crimean Tatars are oppressed by methods such as this, reflecting the approach of collective punishment,” Bilgiç said, vowing that Ankara will continue to support the Crimean Tatar community.
All activities in the Crimean Tatar Parliament were banned on April 26 by a local Russian court after the annexation of the peninsula. That ban was subsequently appealed but the High Court decided to approve the ruling on Oct. 2.
On Sept. 18, Russian parliamentary elections included Crimea for the first time since the peninsula was annexed from Ukraine in 2014. Turkey did not recognize the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s autonomous republic of Crimea in 2014. Turkey, a NATO ally, says 12 percent of Crimea’s population are Turkish-speaking Tatars who are Sunni Muslims, like the majority of Turks.