On June 13, a photo exhibition "Abroad" was opened with the participation of the Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey and the branch of the Crimean Tatar Association of Culture and Mutual Assistance in the Turkish city of Kirikkale. The exhibition is dedicated to the Russian annexation of Crimea and the problem of human rights violations on the peninsula.
The official opening ceremony was attended by the Ambassador of Ukraine to Turkey Andrei Sibiga, the Chairman of the Association Mükremin Şahin and the Chairman of the Association branch Yılmaz Kırımlı, as well as businessmen, representatives of the city administration and members of the Crimean Tatar diaspora in Turkey.
Before the opening of the exhibition Andrei Sibiga and the city Governor Mehmet İlker Haktankaçmaz held a meeting, where they discussed the latest joint projects of Ukraine and Turkey. They also touched upon the current situation of the Crimean Tatars in Turkey.
“Crimean Tatars are important both for Ukraine and for Turkey. We see that the Turkish state has always stood up for the Crimean Tatar people,” Andrei Sibiga noted.
He stressed that the Ukrainian and Turkish peoples are also close to each other, as evidenced not only by the historical and cultural ties between the two countries, but also by the latest agreements - first on visa-free travel, and then on trips with ID-cards.
In turn, Mr. Haktankaçmaz stressed that he is also pleased with the development of trade between Ukraine and Turkey and expressed his hope for further expansion of bilateral relations taking into account the great potential of both countries.
The opening of the photo exhibition began with the performance of national anthems and continued with a documentary film about the Crimea. The Chairman of the Society in Kirikkale, Yılmaz Kırımlı, told the audience about the life of the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, Mustafa Dzhemilev.
“I wouldd like to say that I am delighted that such an event was organized. We, the Crimean Tatars, live in different parts of Turkey. And we should meet more often, organize and hold events dedicated to such issues important for us and things like the homeland, nation and flag. I believe that in the future we will have even greater success," the Chairman of the Association in Turkey, Mükremin Şahin said.
After Mr. Sahin's speech, a video was shown about the struggle of the Crimean Tatars to return to their homeland at the end of the 20th century.
Ukrainian ambassador Andrey Sibiga shared the pleasant news with the guests of the event, saying that in July Mustafa-agha plans to visit Turkey.
“Before arriving at the exhibition, I spoke on the phone with Mr. Dzhemilev, and he said that he would visit Turkey in July.
We are very pleased to join the opening of the exhibition. Human rights are violated in the Crimea, and this photo exhibition is extremely important. These events concern not only Ukraine and the Crimea. They must concern the whole world. And the blame for the current situation lies only with Russia. We are making every effort to return the Crimean Tatar people, who found themselves in a difficult situation, to the Crimea again. Everything that Russia had done has further brought Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians closer, "Andrei Sibiga said.
According to Ayhan Özkan, the assistant to the governor of Kirikkale, although the whole world knows about the situation in the Crimea, there are two states for which this issue is most important - Ukraine and Turkey.
“For the Crimean Tatars in Turkey, this exhibition is very important. The whole world knows about the current situation of the Crimea and the Crimean Tatars. But there are two states that are most concerned about this issue - Turkey and Ukraine. This situation has brought our countries closer together. There are two important things that Turkey must do in the name of the Crimean Tatar people: the guarantee of the existence of the Crimean Tatars, our fellow citizens, in Turkey as a cultural minority and the guarantee of the existence of the Crimean Tatars in the Crimea as a cultural minority. And we are obliged to show the international community everything we are capable of.”
At the end of the event a small concert with Crimean Tatar dances and songs was held for the guests.