The UN has failed many times to maintain international peace and order, as in the case of the illegal annexation of Crimea, which Turkey “has not and will not recognize,” a senior Turkish diplomat said on Tuesday.

Addressing a special event on Crimea at the UN Human Rights Council’s 46th session, Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kiran stressed that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected.

Kiran underlined that Turkey has repeatedly and vehemently denounced the “illegal annexation of Crimea.”

Referring to the Tartar people of Crimea with whom Turkey has unique, historical relations and ties, Kiran said Russian annexation of the peninsula in 2014 worsened their plight significantly.

“Today, leaders of the Tartar community are not allowed to enter their historical homeland. Unjustified legal procedures and illegal detentions targeting Tartars of Crimea intensify,” he said.

Against this background, the international community should put in more effort to protect Crimean Tartar’s rights, Kiran added.

Russian forces entered the Crimean Peninsula on February 2014 with Russian President Vladimir Putin formally dividing the region into two separate federal subjects of the Russian Federation the following month.

Crimea’s ethnic Tartars have faced persecution since Russia’s 2014 takeover of the peninsula.

Turkey and the US, as well as the UN General Assembly, view the annexation as illegal.

* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk in Ankara

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