During the meeting, held behind closed doors, Refat Chubarov and Emirali Ablayev have discussed issues Crimean Tatars are facing in Crimea and ways of their resolution.

Emirali Ablayev, Mufti of Crimea, has arrived in Ankara for a meeting with senior members of the Dianet, the Spiritual Administration of Turkish Muslims (T.C. Dianet İşleri Başkanlığı). The question of building the Buyuk Juma-Jami Cathedral Mosque in Simferopol/Aqmescit is expected to be discussed at the meeting.

The Turkish side sticks to the position that the Cathedral Mosque is to be a joint project between the Turkish Government and the Religious Administration of Turkish Muslims.

However, due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea the mosque’s construction will only be possible after all the parties involved reach a consensus with Ukraine on terms that do not jeopardize Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In March 2014, Russia temporarily occupied Crimea, a part of Ukrainian territory. On March 16, 2014, an illegitimate referendum was held in Crimea which was not recognized by all leading Western powers, including the USA and countries of the EU.

In 2012, the Turkish Republic pledged to commit funding for the construction of the Cathedral Mosque/ Buyuk Juma-Jami, the land plot for which was allocated at 22 Yaltinskaya Street in Simferopol/ Aqmescit when Crimea was under Ukrainian jurisdiction.

As decreed by Rejep Tayip, the then Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic, all the necessary funds and resources were allocated for the project to get underway.

The Buyuk Juma-Jami design project, approved in November 2011, was to undergo further approval, but got suspended due to Russia’s occupation of Crimea.