Turkey's former Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister Professor Ahmet Davutoglu believes that no person can expel the Crimean Tatars from their homeland or break their resistance against the Russian occupation.
In an exclusive interview with the Crimean News (QHA) Founder and Chairman of the Future Party, Mr Ahmet Davutoglu provided a thorough assessment of some of the critical issues regarding Crimea and Crimean Tatars.
"Crimea is a concern in our hearts"
Davutoglu marked Turkey's firm stance against the illegal occupation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula by Russia and reiterated Turkey's objective to support Crimean Tatars.
"For us, beyond being an international matter, Crimea is a concern in our hearts. Therefore, for Turkey, and for me as a Foreign Minister, it was a primary policy that our cognates live in tranquillity in their homeland and that Crimea to be in peace within the territorial integrity of Ukraine."
Turkey have never stayed silent during developments
He emphasised that Turkey never stayed silent concerning the policies respecting Crimean Tatars' cultural heritage and their belonging to Ukraine.
"After an armed conflict broke out in Ukraine, we always displayed clear stance toward Crimea's occupation, including all developments that started with creating factual circumstances and then holding a referendum that led to the occupation."
Defending rights of Crimean Tatars is Turkey's foremost aim
The politician said that Turkey's foremost aim is to defend the rights of Crimean Tatars, and the second is to protect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
"It was necessary to protect the rights of our Crimean Tatar kinspersons there."
Turkey's non-recognition policy on the occupation probably the most predominant
Davutoglu said that although Turkey did not make the same approach on the sanctions, Turkey's firm policy on non-recognition of Russian occupation remained unchanged.
"Turkey's policy on Crimea is probably the most predominant. Within this context, our policy on Ukraine's territorial integrity never changed, and we maintained our firm position."
International platforms and human rights
The leader also mentioned international discussions, including the Crimean platform, said that Turkey's inclusion in all kinds of platforms concerning Crimea would be suitable. He added that since Crimea is Ukrainian territory, this is only possible with the consent and consultancy of Ukraine.
"Within this context, [Turkey] should definitely participate in such platforms to defend the rights of the Crimean Tatars. It should take a leading role."
He asserted that there is a violation of human rights in Crimea, and it should be represented in all international platforms, particularly in the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Crimean Tatars preserved their culture and language
Turkish politician also stressed that Crimean Tatars endured a lot since history, but they have learned to be resilient in all the pain.
"Our Crimean Tatar kinspersons suffered a lot since the deportation and in the previous centuries as well."
According to him, as Crimean Tatars preserved their culture and language, they never lost their passion for returning to their lands for years during exile and eventually returned to their homeland.
"I believe that they would manifest their firm stance on the de-occupation of Crimea hereafter."
No person can break resilience of Crimean Tatars
Professor Davutoglu uttered his trust in Crimean Tatars whom he called the indigenous figures of Crimea, said that no force could break their resilience.
"No person can expel the Crimean Tatars [from Crimea], destroy their culture or break their resilience. Crimea's indigenous figure is Crimean Tatars."
Mr Ahmet Davutoglu concluded by indicating that his party would always defend the rights of Crimean Tatars and the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
"We, as the Future Party, will always maintain our steadfast approach towards defending the territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the rights of the Crimean people, our cognates there."
Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu is a Turkish academic, politician and former diplomat who served as the 26th Prime Minister of Turkey and Leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) from 2014 to 2016.
He previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2014 and chief advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from 2003 to 2009.