Turkish delegation visit to Crimea was unofficial: Turkish Foreign Ministry
A Turkish delegation’s recent visit to Crimea was “unofficial,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Nov. 25.
The Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Ambassador Hüseyin Müftüoğlu said the visit, covered by media outlets, took place with an “initiative of an unofficial delegation, without asking for our ministry’s opinion and permission.”
“The visit does not have an official aspect and there are not any changes concerning Turkey’s policy on recognizing Ukraine’s territorial integrity including Crimea,” Müftüoğlu said.
Daily Hürriyet on Nov. 25 reported that a delegation led by Eurasia Local Governances Head Hasan Cengiz along with an AKP executive member, Mahmut Sami Mallı, and two other names paid a visit to Crimea, prompting the Ukrainian government‘s reaction in which it said will take legal actions against the Turkish participants.
Russian sources meanwhile, alleged that the delegation’s visit was an initiative of Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, daily Hürriyet also said.
Turkey did not recognize the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s autonomous republic of Crimea in 2014.