QA-7, 18 May 2023, Statement of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tanju Bilgiç, in Response to a Question Regarding the Anniversary of the Crimean Tatar and Circassian Exiles

Republic Of Türkiye Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 18.05.2023

The Crimean Tatar Turks, the indigenous people of Crimea, were forcibly uprooted from their homeland and exiled under inhumane conditions 79 years ago today. A significant number of our kinsmen lost their lives on the way or in exile. Our kinsmen, who continued to claim their rights without using violence, could not return to their homeland, the Crimean peninsula, for decades after the 1944 exile.

As in the past, Türkiye continues to support the Crimean Tatar Turks today to eliminate their grievances and ensure the well-being and security in their homeland by preserving their identity.

As for the “Circassian Exile”, it is a tragedy that we commemorate with grief every year on May 21, when the Caucasian peoples were forced to leave their homeland and suffered great losses under severe conditions 159 years ago.

We share the sorrow of the Crimean Tatar kinsmen and brotherly Caucasian peoples, wish mercy to those who lost their lives in these tragic events that left an indelible mark on our collective memory, and respectfully honor their memories.

Atatürk

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