Turkey's priority in Crimea: The safety of Crimean Tatars

Ahmet Davutoglu said solving the political conflicts in Ukraine has to be a priority

Ahmet Davutoglu said solving the political conflicts in Ukraine has to be a priority

ANKARA - Ensuring the safety and well-being of Crimean Tatars is Turkey's priority in Ukraine, the country's foreign minister said on Sunday. 

In an interview with Turkish news channel NTV in southeastern Sanliurfa province, Ahmet Davutoglu said: "Turkey is clear about this. Otherwise, everybody knows that we will take the neccessary steps" he said.

He said teleconference meetings with top diplomats from the G7 group of countries, the EU and the UN had not helped in finding a solution to postponing Crimea's controversial referendum on the region's future as part of Ukraine. 

"We will have another meeting today, also Crimean Leader Kirimlioglu will have a meeting with our Prime Minister this evening as well," said Davutoglu.

"We, as Turkey, do not want Russia to be isolated, but they [Russia] have to be respectful to neighbour countries' territorial integrity," he said. 

Davutoglu said not solving the Crimea issue in advance could lead to more difficult problems later. 

"Syria was not a success. As we see now in Ukraine crisis, not preventing the crisis forehand could make us pay the price heavily," he said.

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