World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey should impose sanctions on Russia and follow the examples of European countries, Crimean Tatar leader and member of Ukraine’s parliament said Tuesday.
Mustafa Abdulcemil Kirimoglu made the remarks in an interview with The Anadolu Agency before his scheduled meetings with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara.
Kirimoglu said "Turkey's position is certain. Turkey supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine."
The EU and the U.S. have imposed sanctions on Russia because of its alleged actions of stirring unrest in Ukraine. The Crimean Tatar leader called on Turkey to also impose sanctions.
"We want Turkey to impose sanctions like the European countries did," he said.
The Crimean Tatar leader said he also held talks with U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"They say these sanctions will continue until Russia's withdrawal from the occupied lands," he said. But, he wondered, for how long these international sanctions could last.
About the situation in Crimea, he said "until now about ten thousand of our citizens have left Crimea and went to other cities of Ukraine."
A referendum on the status of the Crimea was held on March 16, 2014 in which the Crimean population was declared to have voted in favor of becoming part of the Russian Federation. The U.S. and the EU denounced the referendum as illegitimate since the region was occupied by Russian soldiers at the time.
Leaders of Crimean Tatars, the Turkic ethnic group, had also opposed the peninsula's referendum to declare independence from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
According to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, there are 280,000 Crimean Tatars in the autonomous Republic of Crimea, which constitutes close to 13 percent of the total population.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit Turkey on Dec. 1 to attend the Turkish-Russian High-Level Cooperation Council meeting.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Kasım 2014, 17:05