Turkey will not recognize annexation of Crimea: Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
“Turkey has always backed Ukraine’s border and territorial integrity and supported its sovereignty,” said Çavuşoğlu, addressing an iftar (fast-breaking) dinner in the capital Ankara.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Crimean Tatar leader and member of Ukraine’s parliament Mustafa Abdülcemil Kırımoğlu attended the iftar dinner, organized by the Ankara-based Crimean Tatar Turks Culture and Beneficial Association.
“We have never forgotten the Crimean cause and we will not forget,” Çavuşoğlu said, referring to the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 under Joseph Stalin’s Soviet government.
“We did not recognize the annexation of Crimea, we will not recognize it,” added Çavuşoğlu.
In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea after a controversial referendum, which drew the ire of the international community as Russian soldiers occupied the region during the voting process.
There is a small fraction of Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group, living in Crimea. According to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, there are 280,000 Crimean Tatars in Crimea, which constitutes close to 13 percent of the total population.