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News of Interest
Mustafa Jemilev's 70th Birthday
Mustafa Jemilev, Crimean Tatar leader, well-known former Soviet dissident and human rights activist, celebrates his 70th birthday on November 13. This is a particularly a significant period in his life; he just stepped down as Chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis. After directing the political affairs of the Mejlis for over 20 years, Jemilev now continues in his position as a member of the Ukrainian Parliament. We extend our best wishes to Mustafa Jemilev, his family and the new Tatar leadership in Crimea.
See: ICC statement issued on the occasion of Jemilev's 70th birthday.
A new film about the deportation of Crimean Tatars, Kaytarma was first screened in Simferopol in May of this year. It is based on the experiences of Amet Khan Sultan, a decorated fighter pilot in the Soviet armed forces. He is given a leave to visit his family in Crimea just prior to the deportation and witnesses the sorrowful and tragic departure of his people. The film stirred up emotions among the Crimean Tatar viewers as well as controversy which led to the resignation of the Russian Consul in Crimea. We are pleased to publish a review of the film Kaytarma written by Greta Uehling. See: "The Release of Kaytarma and its Aftermath."Update (October 5, 2013): Since we published the review of the film Kaytarma, it has been screened at a theater in Moscow (in June) and in at Ukrainian Embassy in Berlin (in September). It was one of the three films suggested to the Ukrainian committee overseeing the Oscar nominations for the Best Foreign Language Film from Ukraine. Organizers of a Film Festival in Kazan (Russia) had included Kaytarma in their program, but it was withdrawn at the request of the Russian Foreign Ministry. The film was nevertheless admitted to the International Golden Orange Film Festival in Antalya (Turkey) and screened on October 4, 2013. A group of Crimean Tatars from Crimea as well as members of the Turkish diaspora attended the event.
OSCE's Report on Crimea
The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities issued an important report, The Integration of Formerly Deported People in Crimea, Ukraine (August 2013). It provides an up-to-date analysis of the current situation with respect to national minorities in Crimea and offers recommendations for easing inter-ethnic tensions.
"While the Government of Ukraine and the Crimean authorities have made laudable attempts to facilitate repatriation and resolve some of the issues facing the formerly deported people (FDPs), many structural problems remain," notes Knut Vollebaek, High Commissioner on National Minorities.
Among the experts who contributed to the report is Dr. Idil Izmirli, a board member of the International Committee of Crimea,Inc.
The report is in English and available at the OSCE Web site:
Cover of the OSCE Report (detail)
First Reports in English on Crimean Tatar confrontations and trials, 1969
The ICC is pleased to make available two historically significant articles from the English newspaper The Observer, published in 1969, relating to Crimean Tatar confrontations with Soviet security forces. The first article, "Exiled Tatars in struggle with Kremlin," appeared on the front page of the newspaper under an anonymous byline but was written by Peter Reddaway. The two photographs accompanying the newspaper story are described as: EXCLUSIVE: FIRST PICTURES OF CLASHES IN RUSSIA. A follow-up article, also by Professor Reddaway, "Crimes against Tatars being hushed up," dealt with the trials of Crimean Tatars in Taskhent (Uzbekistan) and the arrest of General Petro Grigorenko. We are grateful to Professor Reddaway for reporting on the struggles of Crimean Tatars against the Soviet authorities for the first time in a major Western newspaper more than four decades ago.
Front page of The Observer, 30 March 1969
Dedication at Victims of Communism Memorial
A wreath-laying ceremony took place at the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, DC on June 12, 2013. The occasion was the 6th anniversary of the Memorial's dedication in June 2007. The ICC once again participated by laying flowers to honor those Crimean Tatars who died as a result of repressive policies of the former Soviet Union. Eighteen embassies, representing countries mostly from Eastern and Central Europe, and fourteen organizations and citizens' groups participated in the ceremony. Dr. Diana Kaya presented a basket of flowers on behalf of the ICC.
Dr. Diana Kaya presenting flowers
A new publication: The Sultan's Raiders
A new publication from the Jamestown Foundation, The Sultan's Raiders: The Military Role of the Crimean Tatars in the Ottoman Empire (2013), examines the support provided by Crimean Tatar mounted forces during Ottoman military campaigns from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries. The author, Professor Brian Glyn Williams of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, provides an excellent synthesis and relies primarily on historical sources published in the West. The Sultan's Raiders covers the topic under several headings: The Caucasus Front, Russian, Polish and Western Fronts. This is a significant publication, as not much is known about the military power of Crimean Tatars. A free digital copy of the 53-page monograph is available at the Web site of Jamestown Foundation.
May 18 Commemorative Events
On May 18, thousands of people participated in commemorative meetings and peaceful demonstrations to observe the 69th anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatars. Normally on this date, Crimean Tatars stage a rally in Simferopol's central square to honor those who died during deportation and arduous years of exile, and voice their demands for land and better housing, equal employment opportunities and elimination of human rights violations. This year, however, the anniversary was marked by widespread participation of Crimean Tatar diaspora in Western European countries, Turkey and the US. These peaceful demonstrations were held in front of Ukrainian embassies in Germany, France, Holland and Belgium. In various cities in Turkey and in New York, Crimean Tatars and their friends arranged for public gatherings to honor the victims of deportation and to offer prayers.
For a report from Simferopol, written by Dr. Greta L. Uehling, see:
"The 69th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people: A report from their historic homeland in Crimea."
For an analysis of events that have created the tense political climate in Crimea, see Dr. Idil P. Izmirli's article:
"Growing Sense of Polarization and Escalating Tensions in Crimea Ahead of 69th Anniversary of Crimean Tatar Deportation," Eurasia Daily Monitor, Volume: 10 Issue: 94, 17 May 2013.
Demonstration in Brussells on May 18
Photographs relating to Crimean Tatars and Related Activities
Photographs relating to Crimean Tatars and related activities are now available at the FLICKR or PICASA Web sites:
- Nenkejan Women's Club participates in 2012 GFWC Convention
- International Conference in Crimea, 14-15 October 2011
- Ceremony at Victims of Communism Memorial, Washington, DC, 10 June 2010
- Memorial Meeting in Simferopol,Crimea, 18 May 2010
- Nowruz Celebration at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC
- Wreath-laying Ceremony in Washington, DC, 18 May 2009
- Memorial Meeting in Simferopol, 18 May 2009.
- World Congress of Crimean Tatars, Simferopol, 19-23 May 2009.
- Activities of International Day of the World's Indigenous People, Simferopol, 8 August 2009
- A Crimean Tatar Wedding
- Children of Crimea
- Crimean Tatar Embroidery
- And More ...
Last Update: November 12, 2013