With Soviet depredations against his people still on his mind, Crimean Tatar National Assembly Turkey representative Zafer Karatay calls for Turkey's support in the recent crisis
CrimeanTatars expect more support from Turkey in coordination with other European countries, according to a Tatar representative, in the wake of Tuesday night's phone call between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the recent escalation in Ukraine.
Crimean Tatar National Assembly Turkey representative Zafer Karatay said that his people are terrified due to the increased Russian presence in Simferopol and feel threatened by paramilitaries who have taken streets recently.
According to Karatay: "We remember what happened in May 18, 1944. Awful memories. More than 200,000 Tatars were forced to leave their homes, while we were given only 30 minutes to gather personal belongings. Especially the elderly recall everything. Psychologically they feel attacked."
The Soviet government deported Crimean Tatars by order of Joseph Stalin, the first general secretary of the powerful Communist party. The Tatar people claim that over 40,000 deportees died of starvation in exile, which was caused mainly by the absence of proper settlement plans for the newly designated residency areas. More than 25 years since the Soviet empire's fall, once again Russian troops took over the strategic Crimean peninsula last Saturday without firing a shot, following now-fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych's escape from the Ukraine capital Kiev, due to increased pressure from protesters that prefer the EU over Russian influence. Moscow sees the country as a crown jewel of the Russian and Soviet empires.
"We don't want to leave our houses again. We want to have a peaceful resolution to this crisis. Otherwise, there are no armed groups to protect the Tatar people from possible aggression against us. They have already begun to cut electricity to Tatar neighborhoods and have drawn symbols and written 'traitors' on our doors," said Karatay.
State-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reported that Prime Minister Erdoğan told President Putin Tuesday night in a phone call, that it was the responsibility of Ukrainians before any other external power to find a solution to the crisis in the country. Erdoğan stressed the importance of peaceful order between Crimean Russians and Tatars and emphasized that the crisis should be solved based on international law and principles Karatay praised the phone call as a good step towards convincing Putin to remove his forces from Crimea but said more has to come. "The European Union is mainly silent on Crimea compared to their reaction against the bloodbath in Kiev. We think severe economic sanctions against Russia can force Putin to think about what he did. A de facto invasion of Crimea is also a threat against Turkey and countries like Poland that suffered a lot at the hands of the Soviet Empire," he added.
At a joint press conference with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski yesterday, Turkish President Abdullah Gül spoke about the situation in Ukraine. Gül said that Turkey supports a solution which preserves Ukrainian unity, political stability and sovereignty. He emphasized the importance of a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Crimea. "Turkey, Ukraine and Russia are neighbors," said Gül. "Therefore stability and security in this region are priorities. Turkey has been closely and actively watching the recent developments in Ukraine and we were one of the first to establish diplomatic relations after the government changed."
The Turkish president expressed his hope that the crisis would be resolved through dialogue in order to avoid a second Cold War that would threaten countries around the world.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday held direct talks about Ukraine in Paris on the sidelines of an international meeting on Lebanon, a diplomatic source said.
Kerry and Lavrov held discussions along with their German and French counterparts over coffee after lunch at the French presidential palace according to an AFP journalist. A Western diplomatic source said the talks centered on the crisis in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary of State and Foreign Ministers from Ukraine and Britain agreed on Wednesday that direct talks between Kiev and Moscow were crucial to resolving tensions and called for the immediate deployment of international monitors. "The United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine agreed that direct talks between Ukraine and Russia, facilitated as needed by members of the international community, are crucial to resolving the current situation," read a joint statement released by the ministers. "They also agreed that international observers should be deployed immediately in Ukraine, especially in eastern Ukraine and Crimea," the statement added.
to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the
used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan
ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen