Turkey concerned by political trials, arrest of Tatars
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
“Turkey sides with Tatar people and it provides the necessary support to improve their living conditions," Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran said at an unofficial meeting of the United Nations Security Council on the occasion of the 7th anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea.
“The situation in Crimea continues to threaten regional security," he said.
Emphasizing that it is the responsibility of the international community to keep the issue on the agenda, Kıran said, “We adopt a clear and consistent policy in this regard. We strongly support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We do not recognize illegal annexation.”
"Our approach to this issue is based on both legal and moral foundations. Our cooperation with Ukraine is developing with increasing high-level visits and established new bilateral mechanisms," he said.
Noting that Crimea is very important regarding the historical and humanitarian ties between the two countries, Kıran said: "All communities, including Crimean Tatars, have the right to live in peace and prosperity in their homelands."
He added that more than 3 million Turkish citizens of Tatar descent live in Turkey.
After the illegal annexation in 2014, more than 25,000 Tatars had to leave their homes and those who remained in Crimea face difficulties daily, he added.
Underlining the importance of keeping the demands of the Tatar community’s on the international agenda, Kıran said it is important for the international community to give closer attention to the solution to the issue in accordance with international law.
Kıran said Turkey firmly supported the Crimean Platform for this reason, and the platform will increase the interest of the international community in Crimea.
Russian forces entered the Crimean Peninsula in February 2014 with Russian President Vladimir Putin formally dividing the region into two separate federal subjects of the Russian Federation the following month.
Crimea's ethnic Tartars have faced persecution since Russia's takeover of the peninsula.
Turkey and the U.S., as well as the U.N. General Assembly, view the annexation as illegal.