Ukraine seeks Turkey’s help for release of prisoners from Russia
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has sought his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s help for the release of Ukrainian citizens detained by Russia, the Ukrainian foreign minister said on Sep. 30.
Speaking at a news conference, Dmytro Kuleba recalled that Zelensky and Erdoğan held one-on-one and delegation-level talks in New York, where they attended the 76th session of the U.N. General Assembly.
Kuleba said that during the meeting, Zelensky handed Erdogan a list of 450 Ukrainian detainees, including Nariman Dzhelyal, the deputy head of the Crimean Tatar National Assembly.
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 that time, a situation especially decried by Turkey.
Turkey, the EU, and US, as well as the U.N. General Assembly, view the annexation as illegal.