Turkey did not recognize and will never recognize the annexation of the Crimea, according to the statement the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Ukraine Yonet Can Tezel made at the conference of delegates of the Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people, which takes place in Kyiv today, November 12, said.

 “Turkey refuses to recognize the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea. This topic will continue. And we do not shy away from expressing this to Russia. The situation created in 2014 should not be gradually legitimized into normalcy as time goes by. Non-recognition and our support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity will continue because it is the right thing to do.”

The Ambassador noted that he arrived at the conference of the Qurultay delegates with the new Coordinator of the Turkish State Agency for Development TİKA Esin Ergin.

“I am here to express Turkey’s continuing support for the just cause of our kinsmen, the Crimean Tatars; an honorable community who have shown that they are also reliable citizens of Ukraine. I am here to support the basic demand of the Crimean Tatars: To live in peace and prosperity, to enjoy freedom, universal human rights, to preserve and develop their culture and identity in their historic homeland - in the Crimea. This struggle is honorable also because it is peaceful and democratic. Crimean Tatars are on the right side of the history,” the Ambassador said.

He noted that the delegates of Qurultay must maintain their solidarity.

“Members of Qurultay, we know that you have a difficult job. You have to live in Crimea, not abandon your homeland and keep the national spirit high,” the ambassador added.

The conference of delegates of the Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people started in Kyiv today, November 12, at 10:00.

As the leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Dzhemilev previously reported, at least 160 delegates were expected to gathere at the conference in order to decide on the extension of authority.

Dzhemilev believes that due to the opposition of the occupation authorities, it’s likely that they will not be able to collect a quorum at the Qurultay conference.

In this regard, a voting mechanism was developed for those who cannot leave the Crimea. The draft decisions, which will gain the most votes in Kyiv, will be passed to the delegates to the Crimea for voting. Decisions will take effect after collecting all votes.