Türkiye does not recognize Russian annexation of Crimea: Ministry

The Turkish Foreign Ministry reiterated once again on March 16 Türkiye's position that Ankara does not recognize the "illegal annexation" of Crimea by Russia.

"The Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which is affiliated to Ukraine, was annexed by the Russian Federation nine years ago today [March 16] with an illegitimate referendum held in violation of international law," the statement said.

On the occasion of the anniversary of the annexation, Türkiye reiterated that it does not recognize this situation and reaffirmed its support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The situation of the Crimean Tatar Turks, who are the indigenous people of Crimea, is always a priority for Türkiye, the ministry said.

"Türkiye will continue to support our Crimean Tatar compatriots in their historical homeland of Crimea, preserving their identity and ensuring that they live in safety and peace," it added.

Russian forces entered the Crimean Peninsula in February 2014 and formally annexed the region in March of the same year - a move that Türkiye, the U.N. General Assembly, the U.S. and the EU, all view as illegal.

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