Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara will continue to support a peaceful resolution to the Crimean issue.

Protecting Ukraine's territorial integrity is critical not only for regional stability, but also for global stability, Erdogan stresses.
Protecting Ukraine's territorial integrity is critical not only for regional stability, but also for global stability, Erdogan stresses. (AP)

Türkiye supports Ukraine's territorial integrity and rejects the illegal annexation of Crimea, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.

"The return of Crimea to Ukraine, of which it is an inseparable part, is essentially a requirement of international law," Erdogan said in a video message to the Second Crimea Platform Summit on Tuesday.

The Crimea Platform is an international coordination mechanism of Ukraine to draw more global attention to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Erdogan said Ankara will continue to support the Crimean Platform that was established to resolve the Crimean issue through peaceful means.

"Türkiye does not recognise the annexation of Crimea and has been openly stating since the first day that this step is illegitimate and illegal. This is a principled stance that has not only legal but also moral foundations," he said.

READ MORE: Erdogan: Türkiye ready to contribute to ending Russia-Ukraine conflict

Global security and stability

The Turkish president added that protecting Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and political unity is "critical" not only for regional security and stability, but also for global security and stability.

"Ensuring the safety and well-being of our Crimean Tatar compatriots is also among Türkiye's priorities," he said.

Erdogan also reiterated his expectation for the release of Nariman Dzhelyal, the deputy chairperson of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, and at least 45 other Crimean Tatars who were detained by Russia in 2021.

"The Crimean Tatars, who have suffered great pains throughout history, are fighting for a peaceful life in their homeland.

"Türkiye will continue to stand by the Ukrainian government and the Crimean Tatars in this process," he added.

Erdogan said Türkiye will continue with its mediation role between Russia and Ukraine to ensure peace in the region.

The Crimean peninsula was seized and illegally annexed by Russia in 2014, after a referendum widely deemed illegitimate.

READ MORE: 'Almost 9,000' Ukrainian military personnel killed in conflict with Russia

Source: TRTWorld and agencies