Qa-36, 18 May 2020, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding The Anniversaries Of The Crimean Tatar And Circassian Exiles

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 18.05.2020

76 years ago today (18 May), Crimean Tatar Turks, the indigenous people of Crimea, were forcibly uprooted from their motherland and deported under inhumane circumstances. A large part of 250.000 Crimean Tatars lost their lives either on the way or in exile. Crimean Tatars were not able to return to their motherland, the Crimean peninsula, for decades after the exile of 1944.

Turkey continues today, as in the past, to support the Crimean Tatar Turks to overcome unjust treatments they have been through and to live safely and in peace, preserving their identity. On this occasion, we confirm once again our support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The “Circassian Exile” is another tragedy we recall with sorrow. 156 years ago, on 21 May, the peoples of the Caucasus were forced to leave their homeland under dire conditions, resulting in many losses of lives.

We share the pain of our kinsmen, the Crimean Tatars and the brotherly peoples of the Caucasus, respectfully honour their memory and wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives during these tragic events which have left an indelible mark on our collective memory.

Ahmet Akif Oktay Ambassador
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