On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that Turkey does not acknowledge Russia’s annexation of Crimea and maintains its stance that the annexation is illegitimate.
“Ensuring the security and well-being of our Crimean Tatar kin, who are one of Crimea’s native peoples, is among our priorities,” Erdogan said in a video message to the Third Crimea Platform Summit, which is being held in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
The Crimea Platform is an international coordination mechanism of Ukraine to draw more global attention to Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Erdogan said the end of the Russia-Ukraine war and the restoration of peace and stability in the Black Sea basin would bring relief not only to the region but also the entire world.
“We also maintain our stance in favor of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We consistently emphasize that Crimea is a part of Ukraine on every platform, including the United Nations,” he added.
Türkiye maintains its belief that the war, which started about 18 months ago, needs to end with a fair and lasting peace.
“We are putting significant effort into keeping communication channels open for the cessation of bloodshed and to at least prepare the parties to come to the negotiation table.”
He stated that Türkiye also continues efforts to revitalize the Black Sea Grain Initiative and that during this process, Ankara believes it is essential to avoid steps that would further escalate tensions in the region.
Russia suspended its participation in the initiative on July 17 this year. The deal was signed in July 2022 following mediation by the UN and Türkiye in a bid to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports that had been placed under a blockade by Russia after it began its war in February of that year.
Erdogan also reiterated his expectation for the release of Nariman Dzhelyal, deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, and other Crimean Tatars who were detained by Russia in 2021.