Turkey condemns silencing of Crimean Tatar media outlet

Turkey condemns silencing of Crimean Tatar media outlet

Turkey condemns silencing of Crimean Tatar media outlet

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has slammed Russia for silencing the Crimean Tatars’ only television media outlet, after Russia’s media watchdog refused to re-register the channel.  

The ATR Channel - the only Crimean Tatar channel in the world – was forced off air after Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor refused to re-register the channel on March 31, a day before the April 1 registration deadline.

Çavuşoğlu criticized Russia’s move to silence a Tatar channel operating in Crimea during a joint press conference with his Moldovan counterpart, Natalia Gherman, citing the incident as “another example of the oppression of the Crimean Tatar people.”

“Turkey expects the necessary steps will be taken to re-air the ATR Channel,” the minister said.
 The minister also said an unofficial Turkish delegation will soon head to Crimea to investigate human rights violations in the peninsula. “We have formed the delegation. Now, there are different opinions from Russia and Ukraine about where the delegation will head to in Crimea,” said Çavuşoğlu, adding Turkey would never recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia.

According to the Crimean News Agency QNA, Lenur Islyamov, the owner of ATR, said he had received threats the channel would be forced off the air unless a buyout took place.