“The results of the elections in Crimea are not legitimate for us,” spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a statement, adding Turkey would continue to support the territorial integrity of Ukraine including Crimea.
Elections to the State Duma, Russia’s 450-seat lower house of parliament, took place on Sep. 18.
Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in March 2014 following a contested referendum. Since then, the region’s Tatar community has regularly denounced increasing repression including arbitrary arrests and detentions.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reassured his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on August 20 in a telephone call that Ankara would continue to recognize the Crimean Peninsula, which was illegally annexed by Russia, as Ukrainian territory.
The Poroshenko-Erdogan conversation was less than two weeks after an Erdogan visit to Russia restored Ankara’s relations with the Kremlin that had reached a low point following last year’s shooting down of a Russian warplane by Turkish fighter jets
According to the Ukrainian presidential press service, Erdogan told Poroshenko via telephone that Turkey has not changed its “unwavering position regarding its support of Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity in the country’s internationally recognized borders.”
Erdogan added that Ankara would not recognize “Crimea’s occupation” and would continue to support “the Crimean Tatars in every possible way.”