ANKARA (QHA) -

Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev has been awarded the Order of State award by the Republic of Turkey, country’s highest award.

Speaking at the ceremony, former head of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Jemilev recalled the trauma Crimean Tatars faced in 1944 being deported by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

Today, he said, Russia has taken advantage of Ukraine's weakness and has once again invaded Crimea, referring to the recent annexation of the peninsula following a referendum by the region's mainly ethnic Russian population.

Kırımoğlu referred to 1944, when hundreds of thousands Crimean Tatars were deported from their homes and emphasized the international community should not adopt the same attitude now.

"We hope that this occupation will not last long and Crimea will be free," said Kırımoğlu.This is not 1944. In these tough times, Turkey did not leave us alone. Rather, it extended a hand to Ukraine”- he noted.

Russian Federation annexed Crimean peninsula following Crimean referendum March 16.

New constitution of Republic of Crimea was adopted April 11.

The suggestions, submitted by Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people, in particular, recognizing the Mejlis as a higher representative body of Crimean Tatar people, were not included in the constitution.

QHA