Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called on the Turkish Parliament to recognize the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1942-1943 as a genocide, as reported by the President’s spokesman, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, on Twitter.
The protection of the rights of the Crimean Tatars is one of the issues being discussed by Poroshenko with Turkish leaders during his visit to Ankara.
Moscow has faced criticism over reports of human rights abuses against Crimean Tatars following Russia’s annexation of the peninsula in 2014. A statement issued by the International Federation for Human Rights reported that after the annexation of Crimea, the leaders of the Crimean Tatar community were prosecuted on politically motivated charges. Hundreds of Crimean Tatars fled because they were "in opposition to the forced imposition of the Russian nationality".
Proceedings to ban the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars by the Crimean Supreme Court are currently ongoing.
The Crimean Tatars were deported in 1942-1943 for suspected disloyalty towards the Soviet Union. A total of 230,000 Crimean Tatars were forcibly removed from their homes and transported to Uzbekistan. An estimated 100,000 died from starvation or disease as a direct result of the deportation.
On November 12, 2015, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a resolution recognizing the event as genocide and declared May 18th a Day of Remembrance for the victims of the Crimean Tatar genocide.
Turkey has faced wide-spread criticism for its vehement denial of the Armenian genocide in 1915.