Turkey's role a must in Crimean crisis solution: MPs

Friday, February 28, 2014

Status of Crimea amid Ukraine crisis cannot be determined without proactive Turkey, says Turkish MP

Status of Crimea amid Ukraine crisis cannot be determined without proactive Turkey, says Turkish MP

By Kasim Ileri, Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA - The status of Crimea amid the Ukraine crisis cannot be determined without Turkey playing a role, a deputy from Turkey’s ruling AK Party said Friday.

"Turkish Foreign Minister [Ahmet] Davutoglu`s visit to Ukraine is an indication of Turkey`s intention to be proactive in developments in Crimea," Samil Tayyar told the Anadolu Agency.

Turkey`s FM announced Friday that he would pay an official visit to Ukraine on Saturday.

"Crimea is important in Ukraine due to its strategic location, multi-ethnic and multi-faith formation. It is difficult to maintain peace in Eurasia unless it is secured in Ukraine. Likewise, maintaining peace in the Black Sea is difficult unless it is secured in Crimea," Davutoglu told journalists.

A member of parliament from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) expressed similar concerns regarding Turkey’s responsibility in securing the rights of the Crimean people.

"Turkey should play an active role in Crimea to protect the Turkish and Muslim minorities, and the Crimean issue should have a high priority in Turkish foreign policy," said MHP deputy and former justice minister Faruk Bal.

Stressing that the annexation of Crimea by Russia would constitute a violation of international law and human rights, Bal asserted that Turkey must mobilize international organizations before events in the region take an irreversible turn.

The political situation in Crimea has been tense since Ukraine was hit by large-scale protests that eventually led to the ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych, who fled Kiev last week.

Nearly 50 armed men seized Friday the airport in Simferopol, the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, where several dozen armed men had seized the parliament building on Thursday.

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