One of the leading organizations of the Crimean Tatar diaspora in Turkey, the Federation of Crimean Associations (KIDF), issued a statement warning that “internal and external forces are attempting to divide Ukraine,” reported Espreso.TV on February 27, citing the Turkish news source 15 Minutes.“We want everyone to know that all of the representatives and organizations of the Crimean Tatars of Turkey will unite against these new unjust actions against our compatriots,” the statement says.
“The forces that want to divide Ukraine and to attach Crimea to the Russian Federation should be aware that the safety of life and property of our compatriots who live in their own homeland in Crimea must not be harmed through any unfair and improper action. No power will be permitted to create for our compatriots, who are the main inhabitants of Crimea, a new May 18,” says the statement. (A reference to the forced deportation of Tatars by the Soviet military on May 18, 1944.)
KIDF urged the government and parliament of Turkey, as well as representatives of Turkish political parties, to immediately express their concerns on this issue. “We, the Federation of Crimean Associations, want to assure you that we are following events closely and at the right time and the right place we will demonstrate our democratic reaction,” the statement concludes.
According to various estimates, the number of Crimean Tatars and their descendants in Turkey ranges from several hundred thousand to several million people.
It should be noted that Turkey has expressed its opposition to the possible secession of Crimea from Ukraine.
Translated by Anna Mostovych, edited by Jana Kubalova and Robin Rohrback