World Bulletin / News Desk
Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Jemilev has said that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to help him gain access to his homeland after the local Russian authorities twice turned him away on Friday and Saturday.
The former head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis (Parliament), who is now an acting Ukrainian lawmaker based in Kiev, had been banned from entering Crimea due to his harsh criticisms of the peninsula's split from Ukraine and annexation by Russia following the results of a March 16 referendum.
On Friday, Jemilev attempted to fly to Akmescit (Simferopol) airport from Moscow but had his entry to Crimea refused. The following day he attempted to enter Crimea by land but was stopped again at the border crossing.
Reports stated that Russian Special Forces fired warning shots into the air to disperse thousands of Crimean Tatars who had come to the border to greet Jemilev. Present Mejlis leader Refat Chubarov then ordered his people to pull back in order to avoid bloodshed.
After returning to the Ukrainian capital Kiev, Jemilev spoke in an interview to television channel Kanal 5, in which he explained that he had contacted Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and asked for his help in convincing Russian President Vladimir Putin to lift the ban. According to Jemilev, Erdogan promised to solve the problem.
PROSECUTOR CALLS FOR CHARGES
Following Saturday's unrest, the ethnic Russian Chief Prosecutor of Crimea Nataliya Poklonskaya, labelled the Crimean Tatars who participated in the protest as a 'radical group' seeking to disrupt the order of society and called on the Russian authorities to arrest them.
Regarding the incident, Russian Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov said that the 70-year-old Jemilev had been banned from Crimea because he threatens of destabilize the region, claiming that Jemilev was being backed by Western spy agencies.
Aksyonov said that Jemilev was directing his people in the wrong way and warned that Jemilev would be responsible for the consequences that may arise from his actions.
Crimean Tatars are the native Turkic-speaking Muslim population of Crimea, who make up 13% of the population. They are largely displaced by ethnic Russians after they were exiled by former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1944. After the collapse of Soviet Russia, many chose to return.Last Mod: 05 Mayıs 2014, 12:08