Ukraine: Crimean Tatars “Turkish FM Gave us a Guarantee”
The leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Abdülcemil Kırımoğlu, stated that Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmed Davutoğlu, guaranteed support for Tatars. The statement confirms Turkey’s policy of instrumentalizing the Ukrainian Tatar minority for geopolitical reasons.
Birol & Kanadoğlu (AD) : The political tension rises in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, with the Atlantic forces and Russia squaring up for a showdown. During this tense period, Turkey has been in active contact with the Crimean Tatars, a Turkic ethnicity that makes up a sizable minority in the Crimea, and which has been very active in opposing the Yanukovych government and now the Russians.
Last week, Mustafa Abdülcemil Qırımoğlu, the Ukrainian MP and former Chairman of the Mejlis (Assembly) of the Crimean Tatars, held a meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu Kiev. Kırımoğlu later explained at a press conference the most important point of his meeting with Davutoğlu: Turkey has made certain “guarantees” to the Crimean Tatars.
The leader of the Crimean Tatars Kırımoğlu said “When I talked with Turkish FM Davutoğlu, he provided us an important guarantee. Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu has guaranteed that if the Crimean Tatars face a threat, Turkey will step in immediately.”
Davutoğlu met with Qırımoğlu at Turkey’s Embassy in Kiev on 1 March 2014, after his visit to Bulgaria. Kırımoğlu provided information to Davutoğlu regarding the events in Kiev, and the leaders also discussed the recent situation in the region.
The nature of Turkey’s relationship with Tatars has come under question since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, with it becoming apparent that the Turkish government has been instrumentalizing Tatars for NATO’s benefit in the crisis-stricken country.
This strategy of using Turkic minorities against foreign governments had, according to top officials in Turkey, previously been used in Syria against the Assad government. The Turkish Interior Minister, Efkan la, claimed that the truckloads of weapons driven by MİT agents to Syria had been destined for the Turkmens of that country. Aydınlık Newspaper’s Mehmet Ali Güller also wrote at length on this policy of instrumentalising Turkic minorities in his 4 March column for the paper.
Sources who spoke to Aydınlık newspaper regarding the events in Ukraine alleged that an intelligence unit linked to the Turkish governmental intelligence organization MİT headed to Ukraine to provoke Crimean Turks against Russia at the request of the United States.
According to the information received by Aydınlık, the US and the EU asked for help from Turkey regarding the events in Ukraine. The Turkish government immediately approved the demands of the US and the EU, as it previously did in Syria and Libya, and a Turkish intelligence unit went to Ukraine prior to the start of the events. A team of Turkish Special Forces also reportedly accompanied the intelligence unit.
The majority of the team was placed in the Crimea, and was assigned the task of provoking Crimean Turks and mobilizing them against the Ukrainian administration.
The results of this strategy became clear in late February, soon after Yanukovych was forced to flee from the capital, when a crowd of 20,000 Tatars began fighting a smaller group of pro-Russian protesters in Simferopol.
A previous story from Aydınlık also detailed how Turkey had been instrumental in transporting Crimean Tatar militants from the war in Syria back to Ukraine, where they were tasked with assisting the anti-government demonstrators.
This, combined with various evidence posted in analysis pieces on the nsnbc newspaper’s site and elsewhere show how various groups, including the Tatars and far-right extremists, have been instrumental in destabilising and finally effecting regime change in Ukraine.
Mustafa Birol and Mikail Kanadoğlu, Aydinlik Daily - Edt. nsnbc 06.03.2014, Ch/L