Turkey does not recognize referendums in Eastern Ukraine

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- A Foreign Ministry statement said on Wednesday that Turkey does not recognize the referendum held in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

“The illegal referendum held on May 11, 2014, in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions of Ukraine and its possible results have no validity and are not recognized by Turkey,” the written statement read.

Turkey called on the related parties in the crisis to gather within the framework of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political unity in Ukraine to find a solution.

“Turkey considers the so-called referendum held in the eastern regions of Ukraine as a development that may further deepen the crisis in Ukraine instead of contributing to the solution,” the statement said.

President Abdullah Gul said in earlier remarks that the developments in Ukraine threaten the stability and security of the region, underlining that a political solution to the crisis in the country must be found as soon as possible.

Turkey is following the situation of the Crimean Tatars closely. After a controversial referendum in March, Crimean residents unanimously voted to break off from Ukraine and join Russia. However, the indigenous Tatar people, who are Turkic Muslims and make up about 12 percent of Crimea’s population, oppose the decision. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoIlu called the referendum “illegitimate” a day after the Crimean people voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.


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