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Expert: Ankara’s statements on Crimea reflect its fears and ambitions

The Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Tanju Bilgic has announced that Ankara does not recognize the outcomes of the parliamentary elections in Russia conducted in the territory of Crimea. According to him, the elections have no legal force there.

Commenting on his statement, Turkologist Vladimir Avatkov, Director of the Center for Oriental Studies, International Affairs and Public Diplomacy, has told EADaily that the Turkish stance on Crimea has not changed and there is nothing new in the statement of the Turkish foreign ministry representative.

“This statement corresponds fully with the position taken by Ankara since the very beginning of Crimea joining Russia: Turkey does not recognize it. However, this is connected not with the fact that Turkey is concerned about Ukraine’s territorial integrity, as Ankara is trying to present. The situation needs to be analyzed from the point of view of Turkish interests in the region. Traditionally, it has had claims to Crimea and other territories partially or fully populated to Turkic-speaking population,” Avatkov said.

Answering a question on whether the stance would affect the Russian-Turkish relations, which are being actively “defrozen,” the Turkologist said there will be no change in the atmosphere.

He said that the statement reflects great ambitions of Turkey which are not supported by enough resources and opportunities.

“Accordingly, such statements although cannot be treated positively in Moscow, but there is clear view of the difference between words and deeds. Today it is more important how Ankara will act in the near future, in particular on the Syrian track. And the words it pronounces are one and the same mantra we have heard many times already,” Avatkov concluded.

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