OREANDA-NEWS. One of the conditions for Turkey to soften it's position on the Crimea may be the involvement of the Crimean Tatars in the management of the republic. This was stated by the lecturer of the Ankara University Yildirim Beyazit and the head of the Ankara Institute of Russian Studies, Professor Salih Yilmaz in an interview with Lenta.ru.

He explained that the issue of the Crimean Tatars is extremely important for the Turkish leadership. According to the expert, it would have been possible to avoid sanctions and prevent the current crisis if Crimea had declared it's independence from Ukraine, but did not become part of Russia. Yilmaz cited the example of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is partially recognized.

The expert believes that anti-Russian sanctions related to the Crimea may become permanent. He explained that the Crimean Platform, an international platform for discussing measures to return Crimea to Kiev's control, remains relevant to the problem of the peninsula's ownership. The expert added that Turkey may take tougher measures against Russia because of the Crimea in the event of a change of power in the republic. It may even reach the closure of the straits for Russian ships.

Crimea became a Russian territory in March 2014 after a referendum. The majority of residents of the peninsula supported it's annexation to Russia. Turkey, as a NATO member, does not consider the peninsula to be Russian territory.