Kyiv, April 17, 2014 – Mustafa Dzhemilev, one of the leaders of the Crimean Tatar community, commented the Order of State of Republic of Turkey award at the briefing in the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center: “The award is motivated by the contribution to the development of Ukrainian-Turkish relations. On the other hand, it seems that Turkey shows its support to Ukraine, which is now in such a difficult situation.”
Regarding the possible harassment of the Crimean Tatars on the peninsula, Mr. Dzhemilev stated: “Thank God, there were no incidents anymore after killing a man who was opposing the occupation. However, there have been many cases of such conversations, like the time has come, and you, Crimean Tatars, soon will be evicted. From tomorrow, everyone who has not renounced Russian citizenship shall be deemed as the citizens of the Russian Federation. Tatars do not renounce the citizenship of Ukraine, but at the same time they do not renounce the Russian one, because it will be impossible to live without Russian passports. It will be used as “ausweis” during the German occupation. After the occupation ends, these people will just again become the citizens of Ukraine. There are those people who do not even want to take these passports in their hands. Overall, there are about 5,000 Crimean Tatars who have been forced to leave their land. For us it was a shock, because we were fighting so hard to return to Crimea after the deportation.”
Commenting the Law of Ukraine on the occupied territories, Mr. Dzhemilev said: “It is similar to the Georgian one, although there are some differences. In the original form there have been some tough articles which were not taking into account the real situation, but now it is aimed at protecting the territorial integrity of the country. We do not have any special claims on it. In the beginning there were some issues with the article about cooperation with occupying authority, namely what was meant exactly in that part, but in general the law was fine.”
Speaking about the visit to the United States, Mr. Dzhemilev said: “In the Senate I have stated that Russia is unlikely to invade the mainland. I was inclined to believe that provocation in the east of the country was just a distraction from the Crimea, which Russia was definitely going to secure to them. They have assured me that sanctions will be applied, and the United States will do everything possible until Russia returns the last centimeter of our territory. If the reaction of the West is not adequate, it would be a threat not only to Ukraine, but to the whole world.”
Mustafa Cemilev is a Ukrainian politician, one of the leaders of the Crimean Tatar national movement, Head of Majlis of the Crimean Tatars (in 1991-2013), People’s Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on behalf of the ‘Batkivshchyna’ Party.