Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday commemorated victims of the Crimean Tatar exile, reiterated that Turkey would continue to stand by the Crimean Tatar Turks.
"77 years after the exile, Crimean Tatar Turks are challenged by the hardships created by the illegal annexation of Crimea. Turkey will continue to stand by its kinsmen in their struggle to overcome their aggrievement, attain peace and prosperity, and to protect their identities," Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç said in a statement.
The official recalled that on the night of 18 May 1944, 250 thousand of our Crimean Tatar Turkish kinsmen were torn from their ancestral homeland and exiled under inhumane conditions. A large number of Crimean Tatars lost their lives during this tragic event and those who survived were forced to live yearning for their homeland, he added.
"We share the pain of the Crimean Tatar Turks, as well as the brotherly peoples of the Caucasus and wish mercy upon and respectfully honour the memory of those who lost their lives during these exiles, the official said.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has also commemorated the 157th anniversary of the “Circassian Exile” (21 May) in which people of the Caucasus were forced to leave their homelands during the invasion of Tsarist Russia to seek shelter in Anatolia, suffering great losses.
"The pain of this tragedy remains alive in our collective memories," the spokesperson said.