Returning Crimea to Ukraine is a requirement of international law, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday in an online broadcast of the so-called Crimean Platform summit in Kyiv.
The head of state of Turkey, quoted by Anadolu Agency, recalled that Ankara does not recognize the annexation of Crimea, considers this step illegal, which he stated openly from the first day of the annexation. “The position of our country regarding Crimea is based not only on the letter of the law, but is also a fundamental reflection of Ankara’s moral positions. The return of Crimea to Ukraine is also a requirement of international law. Preserving Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and political unity is critically important not only for the region, but also for global security and stability,” the Turkish president said.
Erdoğan also touched on a problem significant for Turkey’s interests in the region – that of the Crimean Tatars. He called the protection of the rights and security of his compatriots from among the Crimean Tatars one of Turkey’s priorities. “Ankara is closely monitoring the processes in Crimea. In this regard, I again call for the release of the first deputy of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Nariman Jellal, and his associates, who were detained after the first summit of the Crimean Platform,” said the President of Turkey. Since the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the subjection of the peninsula to the Russian judicial system, representatives of the Crimean Tatars have been subject to dozens of lawsuits and prosecutions for expressing opinions and positions.
The President of Turkey recalled that the Crimean Tatars have repeatedly experienced tragic events in their history and have the full right to peaceful residence in the lands of their ancestors. He assured that Ankara will continue to support the government of Ukraine and the Crimean Tatars in this matter.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan also touched on the topic of the war in Ukraine, which has been ongoing since February 24 of this year. Erdogan reiterated that Turkey is for a just peace based on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
According to him, Ankara is making great efforts to ensure the effectiveness of diplomatic channels, as demonstrated by the tripartite meeting of the foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia and Ukraine in Antalya in March and the meeting of the delegations of Russia and Ukraine that took place later in Istanbul .
In his statement before the summit, Erdogan stressed that the end of the war and the restoration of stability in the Black Sea region will allow not only the region but also the world as a whole to breathe easy.
“In this regard, I reiterate my support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea, and I hope for the soon restoration of the atmosphere of peace in our region,” the Turkish leader added.
The President of Poland Andrzej Duda, who is visiting Kyiv for the third time since the beginning of the war and for the fifth time since the beginning of the year, took part in the work of the Crimean platform live. In his speech before the forum, Duda announced the liberation of the entire territory of Ukraine, including Crimea, from Russian occupation. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called the fight for Crimea part of the fight for the liberation of all of Ukraine.