Introduction of what is really going on in the occupied Crimea to the Turkish public was the main purpose of the Crimean Tatar and Ukrainian activists who arrived in Ankara for a few days, the former political prisoner Gennady Afanasiev told a QHA correspondent.
According to him, despite the efforts of pro-Russian organizations to impede the planned activities in every way, the Ukrainian delegation was still able to tell the representatives of the International diplomatic missions and the Turkish government, as well as the indifferent public about human rights violations in the occupied peninsula and repression of "authorities" against the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians.
“We first managed to convey such a huge amount of information. People would not leave the meeting room, they listened attentively, and representatives of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs have recorded everything over five hours. After the speeches we could not even answer all the questions, since the time was simply not enough. People were interested and this interest encourages us to work on. And we know that we have a really good ally and partner represented by Turkey,” Gennady Afanasiev said.
Deputy Coordinator of the NGO "KrymSOS" Eugene Andreyuk, in turn, stressed that international actions by both the Ukrainian activists and activists from outside of Ukraine are very important in this difficult situation.
“It has become evident that international solidarity and actions both in Ukraine and abroad are very important. The more attention we can bring to the fact that people suffer in Crimea, the greater pressure is put on Russia, and the more it is illuminated. Thus, the occupation authorities can no longer act so arbitrary and repressively as they would like to.”
Turkey's position on the Crimean issue was repeatedly pointed by the country's political leadership. According to the Crimean lawyer Emile Kurbedinov, this position is fair and objective, while at the same time, it may be inconvenient to some side:
“I see that Turkey is adamant and principled in its position on specific issues that concern us. They are the issue of the Crimean Tatars and the issue of the Republic of Crimea. This position is visible, no matter what the relationship is being built between Ankara and Moscow. This position may be inconvenient to someone, but it is fair and objective,” he added.
December 10, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar activists arrived in the capital of the Republic of Turkey. Among them were the Crimean lawyers Eden Semedlyaev and Emil Kurbedinov, Deputy Coordinator of the NGO "KrymSOS" Eugenia Andreyuk, a former political prisoner Gennady Afanasiev, as well as the creator and coordinator of the "KrymSOS" Tamil Tashev.
In the framework of the International Day of Human Rights, the Ukrainian delegation has participated in several important events over several days. So, a photo exhibition of a Russian journalist Andrei Naumlyuk entitled "Hybrid Deportation" was opened in the Turkish capital Ankara, and then held a panel discussion and conference dedicated to human rights violations and crimes against humanity in the territory of the Crimean peninsula illegally occupied by Russia.
Earlier QHA reported that the pro-Russian structures in Ankara tried to disrupt the conference, which was held at the University of Economics and Technology with representatives of the international diplomatic missions and representatives of the Turkish government.