Turkish president honors Crimean Tatar leader with ‘Medal of State’
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Turkish President Abdullah Gül honors Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Abdulzhemil Kırımoğlu with the Republic Medal of State. AA PhotoTurkish President Abdullah Gül honored Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Abdulcemil Kırımoğlu with the Republic Medal of State in a ceremony in Ankara on April 15.
Kırımoğlu’s life is a “brief summary of the Crimean people’s suffering,” Gül said.
“Since Kırımoğlu’s aim is blessed and his determination is constant, the suffering got its return,” Gül added. “Crimean people have proven to the world that they cannot just be thrown away from their homeland.”
Gül said the Republic Medal of State is the highest honor given to Heads of State and the Crimean “struggle for freedom” would be marked in history.
After receiving the state medal at Çankaya Palace, Kırımoğlu thanked Turkey for not staying “impartial.” He accused Russia of taking advantage of Ukraine’s current political situation for the opportunity to occupy Crimean soil.
The ceremony was attended by First Lady Hayrunnisa Gül, Kırımoğlu’s wife Safinar Cemileva, Deputy Prime Ministers Bülent Arınç and Emrullah İşler, Crimean Tatar National Assembly President Rıfat Chubarov, Ukrainian Presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko, diplomatic mission chiefs and historians.
Kırımoğlu is considered the leader of the Crimean Tatar National Movement. He was six-months-old when he and his family and were among the Crimean Tatars forced by the Soviet authorities into exile in Uzbekistan in 1944.
In May 1989, 250,000 Tatars returned to Crimea under Kırımoğlu’s guidance and he was elected to head the newly founded Crimean Tatar National Movement.