ISTANBUL - Turkey could play an active role in the Crimea issue, as it is an important neighbor of Russia, said Germany's former president in a conference in Istanbul on Wednesday.
Christian Wulff, who hopes the Crimea issue remains a regional conflict, said Turkey is a powerhouse in the Black Sea region.
Speaking at 'Current Problems in Europe' conference in Istanbul on Wednesday, Wulff said Germany, like other countries, "wants a free and democratic Ukraine."
"There has to be free elections in Ukraine; the annexation is incomprehensible," said Wulff. "Crimea is a part of Ukraine and should stay that way".
Wulff touched on Turkey's December 17 probe operation, which caused political turmoil when it led to the arrest of two sons of ministers. A major cabinet was reshuffled to deal with the crisis and to replace several ministers nominated for mayor in the local elections in March.
He said if the allegations on the probe are true then they should be judged in independent courts.
In terms of dealing with Cyprus in the west, Syria in the south, Iraq in east and with Crimea in the north, Wulff said Turkey has a "tough task ahead of it."
"Turkey can set an example with its current situation," Wulff said.
Former German President also encouraged the youth to not let the politicians spend too much money. Noting that the debts would have to be paid at some point, Wulff said, "Therefore it is important to trust currency, banks, states and governments."
"We have to be open to multi-culturalism and foreigners, we are living in this world together," Wulff said, reminding that people all over the world are connected to each other through social platforms.
"At some point, nations will differ with their motivation, encouragement and transparency,'' Wulff said. ''The smartest will rule, this will apply for every country."
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