News Centre – TDO – The iftar (end of the fast) meal hosted by the Crimean Turks Culture and Solidarity Association at Ankara Sheraton Hotel was attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Ukranian MP and leader of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Abdülcemil Kırımoğlu.
In his opening speech, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said “More than a million Tatars live in Ukraine and they are an inseparable part of our people and culture. The Muslim community plays a great and extremely important role in the protection and progress of our state.”
In his speech, Ukrainian MP and leader of the Crimean Tatar Turks Mustafa Abdülcemil Kırımoğlu said “We closely follow your statements against the occupation and against the oppression of our people in Crimea. We are very grateful to you.”
In his speech, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu conveyed the greetings of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and said that the Crimean Tatars are the most esteemed brothers, fellow people and citizens who contribute to Turkey.
Çavuşoğlu stated that the lands of Anatolia host the Crimean Tatars, as they did many displaced people over the centuries and said “Today, I have once more witnessed with pleasure that having to leave Crimea does not mean losing your connection with Crimea. Although you may be away from your homeland, you continue to keep Crimea in your hearts and minds.”
Underlining that Turkey and all of its institutions were behind the Crimean people, even before the illegal annexation, Çavuşoğlu said “Turkey has been on the side of Crimean Tatars wherever they may live. Just like it was on the side of the Ahiska Turks, the other oppressed people, the communities that were forced into exile like the Crimean Turks. We will continue to stand by the Crimean Turks. We have never forgotten the Crimean cause, and we will never forget it. We have not recognised the annexation of Crimea and we will not recognise it.”
Çavuşoğlu said that the free trade agreement negotiations between Turkey and Ukraine were on the verge of completion and that the free trade agreement would be signed at the next High Level Strategic Cooperation Council Meeting that will be presided over by the leaders of the two countries.