World Bulletin / News Desk
As the crisis between Ukraine and Russia continues over the Crimea peninsula, Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev has reassured his people that Turkey will look out for them if the crisis gets worse.
“If a problem arises, Turkey will immediately get involved,” he told a press conference in the Crimean capital Akmescit (Simferopol).
Revealing the details of his meeting with Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu last week in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, Jemilev said that Davutoglu promised that Turkey would get involved if the Crimean Tatars came under threat.
Reiterating the advice of Crimean Tatar Mejlis (parliament) leader Refat Chubarov, Jemilev stated that the Crimean Tatars were waiting the situation out and not giving into provocations of supposed Russian soldiers who have occupied the peninsula.
Russia has denied sending soldiers in unmarked uniforms who are currently occupying key buildings and routs in Crimea, claiming that they are local pro-Russian militias.
Despite being the natives of the region, Turkic-speaking Muslim Crimean Tatars were reduced to a minority community in their homeland after Soviet dictator Josef Stalin forced them into exile in 1944.
On Wednesday, Turkey's parliament speaker Cemil Cicek expressed his support for the Crimean Tatars, saying “Crimea is in our hearts and is a part of our spirit. Our brothers there have suffered more than anyone else in the past century...our hearts are with our Crimean brothers.”Last Mod: 06 Mart 2014, 12:09