Turkey rebuffs illegal Russian referendum, de-facto situation in Crimea at 7th anniversary

Crimean Tatars
Canan Sarıtepe
17 March 2021, 09:38
Canan Sarıtepe
17 March 2021, 09:38

Turkey reiterated that it does not recognize the illegitimate referendum held in Crimea seven years ago.

Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday published a press release regarding the seventh anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia.

"We reiterate that we do not recognize the de-facto situation in the Peninsula which constitutes a breach of international law and confirm our support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," reads the statement.

The ministry emphasized that it is committed to the protection of the cultural identity of the Crimean Tatar Turks.

"On this occasion, we underline one more time the importance we attach to the safety, well-being and protection of the cultural identity of the Crimean Tatar Turks, who are among the constituent people of Crimea," it added.

The statement noted that Turkey is closely monitoring the developments in the Crimean peninsula.

Background

On March 16, 2014, contrary to Ukrainian legislation and the legislation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, a so-called "referendum" on the status of Crimea was held in the Russian-occupied Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

According to the official data of the aggressor state, 96.77% of Crimean residents allegedly supported the annexation of the peninsula to Russia, while 95.6% of Sevastopol residents "voted" in favor of joining Russia.

Two days later, on March 18, 2014, the so-called agreement on the accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation was signed at the Kremlin.

All influential international organizations have declared the occupation and attempted annexation of the peninsula illegal and condemned Russia's actions. Also, a number of Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia.

Seven years have passed, the situation in the occupied Ukrainian peninsula remains tense. The occupying power is implementing terrorist methods and intimidation practices on the local population.

In 2020, Ukraine decided to initiate the "Crimean Platform" to unite efforts to liberate Crimea from the Russian occupation.