Ankara, 6 September 2022 (TDI): Minister of Foreign Affairs of Türkiye, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, on Monday met the first Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Emine Dzheppar.

During the meeting, the Turkish Foreign Minister emphasized Turkiye’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also welcomed deputy Foreign Minister Emine Dzheppar during her visit to Türkiye.

During the meeting, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu expressed his full support for Ukraine’s war against Russia. He also met with the leader of the Crimean Tatars, Mustafa Abdulcemil Kırımoğlu, and discussed the rights of Crimean Tatars.

The Crimean Tatars are a Turkic ethnic group and nation that are an indigenous people of Crimea. In 2014, Putin annexed Crimea banning the Crimean Tatars’ parliament, known as the Mejlis. They also arrested, tortured, and killed Crimean Tatar activists.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Emine Dzheppar, thanked Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for her warm welcome to the Republic of Turkiye.

Moreover, she also showed her gratitude for Türkiye’s unwavering support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty at the Crimea Platform 2nd summit.

During her visit, she also met the Deputy Foreign Minister of Türkiye, Sedat Önal. Both the Ministers agreed on further cooperation between the counties within the framework of the Crimea Platform.

They also exchanged thoughts on common issues of security and stability in the Black Sea amid ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine.

Geographical Importance of Turkiye in the Black Sea

Being a NATO member, Turkiye holds an important geographical position in the region. The country shares a maritime border with Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea and has good relations with both countries.

The 1936 Montreux Convention regulates the use of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits – which link the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea – for cargo ships from other countries.

Under the convection, Turkiye has control over the straits and can limit warship passages during wartime.

Under the convection, Turkiye has the right to close the straits to all foreign warships in wartime, or when it is threatened by aggression. It can also refuse transit for merchant ships from countries at war with Turkey and fortify the straits in case of conflict.

Earlier this year, Ukraine asked Turkiye to close Black Sea access to Russian ships and take appropriate measures regarding Russian ships entering the Black Sea.

Ukraine accounts for 9 percent of the world’s wheat, 15 percent of its maize, and 44 percent of global sunflower oil exports. A quarter of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, and Pakistan’s wheat comes from Ukraine.

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After the Russian Aggression against Ukraine, the Russian authorities initiated a blockade on the trade route to strangle the country economically.

Turkiye-Ukraine Relations

Turkey recognized Ukraine’s independence on 16 December 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 3 February 1992.

Relations between Turkey and Ukraine gained the status of strategic partnership, with the establishment of the High-Level Strategic Council (HLSC) in 2011

Trade volume between Turkey and Ukraine in 2019 amounted to 4.8 billion US Dollars (2,09 billion US Dollars exports from Turkey, 2.72 billion US Dollars imports from Ukraine).

Turkey has generally supported Ukrainian independence and the country’s territorial integrity.

President Erdogan denounced Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and has advocated on behalf of Crimean Tatars (a Turkic ethnic group) who have suffered under Russian rule.