As stated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday, Turkey fully supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the Crimea. This was stated by Erdoğan during a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during the latter’s visit to Ankara, as reported by Glavnoe.
“I said, Mr. President, Turkey will always support the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the Crimea, and the political unity of Ukraine, and I will repeat it once again, Turkey has not recognized the illegal annexation of the Crimea and will never do that,” Erdoğan said.
The press conference came at the end of Poroshenko’s two day visit to Ankara. Among other issues, the two leaders discussed the importance of the development of economic relations between the countries. The presidents announced their intention to establish a free trade zone in the near future.
“These talks were first held tête-à-tête, and then we discovered that they were of great important for our political, economic, trade, and cultural relations. We had an opportunity to thoroughly analyze our relationship,” Erdoğan added.
The internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014 in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution. The Kremlin has faced international condemnation for its annexation of the Peninsula, leading many western countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia. In the United Nations, only Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Syria recognize Crimea as a legitimate federal subject of Russia.