Crimean Tatars: Turkish President in Solidarity with Exiled Leader
On the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944, Turkish President Erdogan contacted Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, standing in solidarity with the Crimean Tatars over the exile that they suffered from at the time, as well as the crackdown on rights and liberties they have faced since Russia’s annexation in 2014.
Below is an article by The Journal of Turkish Weekly:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday phoned the leader of Crimean Tatars Mustafa Dzhemilev over the 71st anniversary of the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944.
"Turkey is in solidarity with their Crimean Tatar brothers in these days of mourning," the Turkish Presidency quoted Erdogan as saying.
Erdogan said the exile the Crimean Tatars suffered was a “dark page” in history, adding that the "inhumane" incident would never be forgotten.
The president conveyed his condolences to all victims of the exile.
“Turkey gives priority to the peace, welfare and security of Crimean Tatars from the beginning of the Ukrainian issue,” said Erdogan, referring to the annexation of Crimea by Russia last year in March.
Erdogan also criticized Russian authorities over banning Crimean Tatars from holding a commemorative ceremony over the anniversary of the exile, calling it "unacceptable”.
Dzhemilev, for his part, thanked the president for Turkey's sensitivity and support for Crimean Tatars.
Around 250,000 Crimean Tatars were taken from their homes and forced to migrate thousands of kilometers away to Central Asia under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1944.