On April 10, the Presidents of Turkey and Ukraine held negotiations in Istanbul. In their framework, Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed his country’s decision not to recognize the attempt to annex the Crimea and supported the Crimean Platform as an initiative of Ukraine aimed at bringing the international community closer to the Crimea. The President of Turkey expressed hope that this initiative will have positive results for all peoples, including the Crimean Tatars, the Crimea and the whole of Ukraine. “Raising the standard of living of our Crimean Tatar brothers, who had to leave their homeland, is a historical and humanitarian responsibility for us. I am very pleased to see that we have also agreed with Ukraine on this issue”, Erdogan said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed the signing of an intergovernmental agreement between Ukraine and Turkey on cooperation in the field of housing, which allows to build about 500 apartments for the Crimean Tatar People representatives and other internally displaced persons from the Crimea. During the visit, the IX meeting of the High-Level Strategic Council between Ukraine and Turkey took place, at which the Joint Declaration was approved.
In this document, Turkey and Ukraine agreed to continue and coordinate steps aimed at restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, in particular the deoccupation of the AR of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and to continue to support multilateral within international organizations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the OSCE.
The two countries supported the creation of the Crimean Platform as a new format for resolving the issue of Russia’s illegal and illegitimate attempt to annex Crimea. The parties agreed to intensify joint efforts to improve the living conditions of Ukrainian citizens, in particular Crimean Tatars, who were forced to leave their homeland – Crimea – as a result of the temporary occupation. Ukraine and Turkey have recognized the need to coordinate efforts under international law to ensure the protection of human rights in occupied Crimea and the release of all illegally detained Ukrainian citizens, including Crimean Tatars.