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MOSCOW, July 31 /TASS/. The World Congress of Crimean Tatars to be held in Ankara, Turkey, on August 1-2 will have no impact on compatriots residing in Crimea because Crimean Tatars will not support its decisions, Zaur Smirnov, the head of the State Committee for Inter-Ethnic Relations and Citizens deported from the Republic of Crimea, said in an interview aired by the Rossiya 24 television news channel on Friday.
"What will take plane in Ankara will have no impact on the future of Crimean Tatars (in Crimea) and is unlikely to solve their social, cultural and economic problems," Smirnov said.
"Crimean Tatars who held their own congress (in Crimea) a week ago (July 25) gave a clear answer to the Ankara congress describing it as absolutely illegitimate and not meeting the interests of Crimean Tatars," Smirnov said. He added that Crimean Tatars urged Turkish President (Recep) Erdogan to ignore the event, which, they said, was provocative. "The move will damage Turkey’s image and will in no way match the level of respect, which Crimean Tatars residing in Crimea, have for the incumbent president of Turkey," Crimean Tatars said commenting on the Ankara congress.
According to Smirnov, the purpose of the Ankara congress and the former leaders of the Mejilis of Crimean Tatars was to drive a wedge in the Russian-Turkish relations and make the maximum use of the Crimean Tatar card in attempts to destabilize the situation in Crimea.
"The World Congress of Crimean Tatars that will take place in Ankara has got nothing to do with intentions to resolve the problems of Crimean Tatars…The Russian Crimea gives Crimean Tatars all the opportunities, which they have not had for the 23 years of Ukrainian rule, to develop and preserve their own culture and undergo political and social rehabilitation," Smirnov added.
Crimean Tatars fully support Russia’s political and economic reforms designed to revive the culture of the Crimean-Tatar ethnos. "Crimean Tatars are not going to interfere in geopolitical processes. They are Russian citizens now and they are not planning to deviate from this course," the head of the State Committee for Inter-Ethnic Relations concluded.