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AN URGENT APPEAL TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

March 1, 2014

Dear Mr. President:

We, the Crimean Tatar-Americans and friends of Tatars, are deeply concerned with the recent ominous political developments in Crimea, which have led to its illegal occupation by Russian forces.

As Crimean Tatars, the indigenous people of Crimea, are preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of their unjust and tragic mass deportation from their ancestral homeland by Soviet authorities, a new tragedy is about to fall upon them.

It is with great sadness that we are witnessing the once peaceful Crimea now ready to explode as armed Crimean Russian fanatics have occupied the Crimean Parliament to aid the pro-Russian politicians. They may decide the future of Crimea without considering the status of the Crimean Tatars and others. We have witnessed the illegal occupation of the Akmescit (Simferopol) Airport by Russian armed men. The Russian Black Sea Fleet troops in Akyar (Sevastopol) are said to have been seen in different parts of Crimea, which also significantly threatens the peaceful Crimean Tatars.

The aforementioned activities, Mr. President, significantly threaten the political stability in once peaceful Crimea, and indeed the stability of the Black Sea region. It also threatens the territorial integrity of independent Ukraine.

We, the Crimean Tatar-Americans and friends of Tatars, are deeply troubled about the safety of our compatriots who for the past 70 years have been struggling to resettle in their homeland. Crimean Tatars have suffered enough when the entire population of Crimean Tatar was deported en masse on May 18, 1944 and 46.2% of their total population perished during this brutal forced relocation. The Crimean Tatars want to live in their homeland along with all other peace loving people and rebuild a peaceful future for the next generation.

We, therefore, urgently appeal to you as the leader of the free world, Mr. President, to take all appropriate actions to prevent the illegal occupation of our ancestral homeland by Russian forces and to preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine, of which Crimea is an important part.

Mubeyyin Batu Altan
ICC Board of Directors


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