The following paper by Gulnara Bekirova is an edited version of the article on Crimean Tatar emigrations that appeared in Krimski Studii 1 (7): 2001, p. 186-200. It was translated into English by the staff of the Center of Information and Documentation of Crimean Tatars, which publishes the Krimski Studii. The Russian version, "Problema emigratsiy krimskih tatar v rossiyskoy istoricheskoy literature 1800-1930 godov," was published in Korni travi [Roots of Grass]. Moscow, 1996, p. 160-175. We are grateful to Ms. Bekirova for letting us publish this
important article on the Web. Her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The "Memorial" International Historical-Enlightment
and Human Rights Society
The political action, which was defined by the Manifest on Annexation of
Crimea to Russia on 8 April 1783, became the dramatic event in the history of the
Crimean Tatar people. As a result of a long military confrontation between the
Russian and Ottoman Empires which was accompanied by destructive campaigns of
the Russian troops on the territory of the Crimean peninsula, the Crimean Khanate
lost its independence, and Crimean Tatars were subjected to the colonial policy of the
With the annexation of the Crimea, the Russian Empire liquidated the political
institutions of the Crimean Tatars. At the same time, the role of traditional bodies of
the Crimea Tatar religious and local self-government was significantly diminished.
However, the most catastrophic consequence was a purposeful policy of the Russian
state to displace the Crimean Tatars from their homeland and to resettle "liberated"
lands by the colonists from inner regions of Russia as well as from other states, in
particular the German principalities.
The aspects of the Russian dominance in Crimea were reflected in the large
body of literature encompassing natural sciences, geography, statistics, history, as
well as memoirs from the 19th century to the 1930s. This complex combination
of evidence, fragmentary references, and stories has formed a mythology of the views
on the Crimean Tatar people the mythology that is not always accurate, and
sometimes is full of downright lies.
Although this literature is huge, it has not been subjected to any serious
historical scrutiny. There were so few historiographic studies that their review will not
take a large part of our work.
One of the first attempts at such an analysis, and in our opinion a superficial
one, was undertaken in 1856 by I. B-n [perhaps, Berezin - G.B.] in his short essay
"Krym". The author describes a few studies of Crimea, mostly the popular
scientific ones. He evaluates the sources very sharply and critically, yet not always in an order or in a logical manner. Besides, his analysis is very emotional to be considered scientific.
However, his work deserves attention, being perhaps the earliest example because it
initiated the historiograpical tradition in Crimean studies.
Two serious monographs on the history of the Crimean Tatar land ownership by
G.F. Bliumenfeld (2) and F.F. Lashkov (3) constitute historiographical surveys aimed at
presenting a level of understanding of the problem developed by the time of their
writing. The historiographical essay in the book by Lashkov is more detailed and
comprehensive, but it does not mention, in particular, the publication of the Special
Commission on Vakuf of 1886, which was published in 1892 (4). On the whole, one
gets the impression that this portion of the work is as an appendix to the main,
historical, part. The article by E.I. Chernyshev (5), which was published in 1930,
considers a historiography of the Crimean Tatar emigration in 1860. The author
analyzes in detail the works by A.I. Markevich (6), A. Ozenbashly (7), S.A. Usov (8),
touching mostly upon their interpretation of the reasons for emigrations.
However, in this article his criticism of his colleagues' arguments gradually
turns into an evaluation of their ideological principles. In the context of E.
Chernyshev 's party politics, S.A. Usov was "a mythological conservative", A.
Ozenbashly "a nationalist", and A. Markevich "a great-power chauvinist." Analyzing
the opinions of earlier authors through a prism of "the only correct" Marxist theory, E.
Chernyshev apparently did not understand the narrowness of such an approach to
evaluating the solutions of complicated and multi-aspect historical problems.
Concerning the most recent works, we can name a study on the history of the
Crimean Tatar movement by M.N. Guboglo and S.M. Chervonnaya (9). These authors
present a description of both Russian-language and foreign sources and a
historical assessment of the issue. A concise and logical structure of their work allows us to
follow dynamically the evolution of the opinions and positions on this subject. The
analysis of the most serious books by foreign historians such as E. Allworth, A. Fisher (10), gives an additional value to this work. The publications in foreign languages,
which have not been studied historiographically mentioned by the authors, have a
bibliographical significance. This short review, which defined the general directions
for historiographical analysis of the issue undoubtedly, can become the basis for a
larger comprehensive study on the history of the Crimean Tatar National Movement.
These are the historiographical works related to the study of the history of the
Crimean Tatars. However, there were no works of synthesis or works that would
provide the "big picture" or attempt to describe the whole body of literature and to analyze its basic ideas and trends. One person cannot do such work, but this doesn't mean that no one should be doing it.
Let us outline, in general terms, how and under what historical conditions
the historiographical body of research relating to the life of the Crimean Tatars since
1783, when Crimea was absorbed into Russia, was formed.
The scientific study of Crimea from the end of the 18th century necessarily
involves, first of all, the issue of control of the new territory, including its natural
wealth. The governmental interest stimulated interest of the first visitors to the
Russian Crimea state officials, diplomats, academics, and foreigners, who left
numerous accounts of their visit to this land.
At the turn of the 19th centuries many of them tried to understand the
ancient history of Crimea P.S. Pallas (11), A. Narushevich (12), S. Sestrentsevich-
Bogush (13); to register its geographical, natural, topographical features K.I.
Gablits (14), V. D. Zuyev (15), P.S. Pallas (16); and to study its archeological
monuments P.I. Keppen (17), I.M. Muravyev-Apostol (18), and N.A.
Murzakevich (19). Such research was frequently carried out with the financial and
other assistance from the Russian government.
The research on the new territory was accomplished on a private level as well,
as reflected in numerous memoirs, most of them dating from the end of the 18th to the
first half of 19th centuries V. Bronevskiy (20), A. Demidov (21), P. Kleeman (22),
B.A. Korf (23), E. Kraven (24), Ludolf de (25), Imperator Joseph II (26), Zh. Romm
(27), Segur (28), and P. Sumarokov (29). Travel diaries, notes, and recollections of
Crimea appeared in the following years, but they are perhaps more valuable for
studying the evolution of the Russian society, the spiritual development of its
The first attempts of A.A. Andrievskiy (30), M. Goldenberg (31), E.
Gorchakova (32), V. H. Kondaraki (33), and F. Khartahay (34) to understand the
history of Crimea and Crimean Tatars as people of Russia date to the second half of
the 19th century. Significant, critical developments in the life of Tatars have prompted
such studies. These developments such as the mass exodus of the Crimean Tatars and
the 100th anniversary of the Russian annexation of the Crimea, which stimulated
interest and had repercussions in the Russian social and literary life.
But it is obvious that the interest in Crimea or in its indigenous people during
this period, was seesaw and sporadic. An eloquent proof of this is that the key Russian
historians such as S.M. Solovyev and V.O. Kliuchevskiy remained indifferent to the
history of the Crimean Tatars after the collapse of the Crimean Khanate in 1783. The
same tendency can be found in later general works on the history of the 19th century,
in which Crimea is mentioned only in terms of events most relevant to the history of
Russia V.N. Bochkarev (35), A.A. Kizeveter (36), and A.A. Kornilov (37), and in
regard to formulating the eastern and national policies S. Zhigarev (38), and P.N. Myliukov (39).
Nevertheless, in the latter half of the 19th century, owing to the efforts of local
historians, such as F. F. Lashkov, F. Khartahay, A. I. Markevich, and V. H.
Kondaraki, a number of issues in the history of Crimean Tatars such as emigrations,
education, religion, spiritual life, and land issue, received deeper theoretical and
scientific formulations, and their treatment became more pronounced. The
publications of the Odessa Association of History and Antiquities of Black Sea Coast
(since 1839) and the Tavricheskaya Scientific Archive Commission (since 1887),
Zapiski OOID and Izvestiya TUAK respectively, reveal the extent of interest in local
history and active research. In the latter half of the 19th century, the treasure house of
Crimean studies was replenished by the significant works which were a result of the
mushrooming statistical science K.I. Verner (40), A.A. Skalkovskiy (41), and K.V. Khanazkiy (42); of ethnography and anthropology P.I. Keppen (43), V.H. Kondaraki
(44), K.S. Merezhkovskiy (45), and A.N. Kharuzin (46); and of the archeological
works - F.K. Brun (47), Y.A. Kulakovskiy (48), V.G. Tizengauzen (49), A. Fabr
(50), and K. Fomenko (51).
Towards the end of the 19th century, the emerging Crimean Tatar intelligentsia began
to understand the mutual co-existence of Crimea and Russia, as reflected in works of
I. Gasprinskiy (52), in which the idea of rapprochement of the Russian and Islamic
worlds was neatly explored.
An important source, which reflected the evolution of spiritual life of the
Russian Islam, was the newspaper Terjuman (Perevodchik), first published by I.
Gasprinsky in 1883 in Bakhchisaray. Other attempts to publish similar
publications for the Turkic people were undertaken previously. However, all of them
(up to the revolution of 1905-1907) were short-lived, the publications were
confiscated and closed. The Terjuman continued to be published until 1918, even after the death of Gasprinskiy in 1914. Besides, Gasprinsky also published the newspaper
Millet [Nation] and the weekly journal for women Alemi nisvan [Women's world] in Bakhchisarai. (53)
The intensive and purposeful studying of culture, history, ethnography of the
Crimean Tatar people, which began in the 1920s, nearly came to an end in the 1930s.
In that period, the development of historical science in Crimea was practically
ignored, and this subject requires separate research. Now it is absolutely clear that
these two decades were fundamentally different. The 1920s was the period of active
development of the Crimean studies, involving the best scholars of Crimea, Russia
and Ukraine. In that period archeologist A.L. Bertie-Delagard, historians G.V.
Vernadskyi and B.D. Grekov, who latter became an academician and the chair of
the Crimean Central Archive in 1919; orientalists Y.I. Krachkovskiy and A.E.
Krimskiy, and epigraphist O. Akchokrakly were affiliated with the Tavricheskaya
scientific archival commission, which was established in 1887 and reorganized into
Tavricheskaya Association of History, Archeology and Ethnography (TAHAE) in
1923. For many years, the chairman of this well-known center was the notable
Crimean studies scholar A.I. Markevich, who became a corresponding member of the
Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1927. In April 1930, the archeologist N.L. Ernst
became the head of the commission.
New organizations, which considered as their main task the all-around
research on Crimea were appearing as well. In October 1922, on the initiative of
a number of well-known scientists and public figures professor A.V. Zinger,
physicians A.V. Kuznezov and A.A. Litkens, publicist and public figure E.D.
Leytnekker the constituent assembly of the Russian Association on Research of
Crimea (RARC) was held in Moscow. At the end of 1924, the Leningrad branch
of the RARC, headed by professor N.I. Kuznezov, was established. The other branches of
the association were established in towns and settlements around Crimea and brought
together about 900 scholars of Crimea. Between 1925 and 1929, the RARC published
the scholarly travel journal Krym. A lot of popular articles on history, archeology,
ethnography, geography and topics of local interest such as construction of health
resorts appeared in the ten issues of this journal.
However, already at the end of the 1920s, a general change of policy in the
Soviet historical science transformed the development of the Crimean studies in
The trial of the group of historians headed by S.F. Platonov (1929-1931)
marked the beginning of pogroms of the professional historians not only in Russia,
but in the republics as well. The followers and students of M.N. Pokrovskiy, who took
leading positions in Soviet historical science in the 1920s, were particularly zealous
fighters against the representatives of the non-Marxist school of historiography.
Already in 1930, S.A. Piontkovskiy (54), who was a student of M.N. Pokrovskiy and
among the most radically disposed towards the "scholarly academics" (S.F. Platonov,
S.V. Bakhrushin and M.S. Liubavskiy), attacked A.I. Markevich, head of the TUAK-
TAHAE for many years. The charge was "the great-power chauvinism, characteristic
of "all bourgeois historians of Russia." In 1931, the authorities suspended the
activities of the TAHAE, and many of its members were arrested and eventually died
in prison or exile. In 1937 the oldest historian of Crimea, the 82 years old A.I.
Markevich was again vilified by a campaign in the newspaper Krasnyi Krym, and
accused of authoring the "counter-revolutionary" works on Crimea. (55)
The purges of the 1930s, which were undertaken by the representatives of the
M.N.Pokrovskiy school, completed the demolition of the Crimean historical science.
At the same time, the representatives of the Crimean Tatar elite ethnographer and
artist U. Bodaninskiy, historian and epigraphist O. Akchokrakly, historian Ya.Kemal,
philologist B. Choban-zade, writer A. Lyatif-zade and others were also executed on
charges of nationalism.
In contrast to the effective and undoubtedly valuable achievements in Crimean
studies in the 1920s, the achievements in 1930s were meager. At that time the most
qualified researchers were repressed, and historical studies, in accordance to the
formula "history is politics thrown into the past," became a political and therefore a dangerous pursuit.
In the light of the glaring gap in the study of the Crimean Tatar history, the
problem of emigration seems to be one of the most developed. However, at a closer
look, it becomes clear that this conclusion is a mistake. One can safely claim that the
literature on this subject raises more questions than it provides answers. Though the
emigration problem is unanimously recognized by researchers as one of the most
tragic chapters in the history of Crimean Tatars after the collapse of the Crimean
Khanate, there is still no clarity about its main causes and the scale of each emigration
Considering historiography as a whole, one can note the following:
Although there are no less than 20 studies on each period or wave of emigration, more
detailed research is required. To varying degrees, the supporting evidence for each
period remains in various narratives, official publications, memoirs, and historical
retrospectives. However, given the number of sources that were included in
historiographical studies, they prove nevertheless to be insufficient for the
reconstruction of the historical continuum that is of interest to us (Crimea from the
end of the 18th to the beginning of 20th centuries), and for research on particular
Poorly defined chronological framework of the Crimean Tatar emigration
waves indicates the insufficient study of this topic. A. Ozenbashly defined
the first emigration as taking place during the years 1784-1800, and E. Markov (56)
and P. Martyanov (57) during the 1785-1788 period. According to The commemorative book of the Tavricheskaya province (58), this emigration wave "was stopped under Richelieu in 1804."
The second emigration wave, which apparently took place between 1800 and
1812, and according to the opinion of E. Markov, there were only "oral stories," not
mentioned by most of the researchers at all. Generally this was a result of insufficient
sources and lack of a real scientific interest in the problem. A.Ozenbasly thought that
the second emigration was from 1804 to1805, V.H.Kondaraki in 1807, and
P.K.Martyanov in 1812.
A. Kopchevsky (58) named as the second emigration wave the movement of
Crimean Tatars in the period of the Crimean War (1853-1856), and the third one, the
emigration of 1862-1865. He didn't mention at all the emigration at the beginning of
the 19th century.
The chronological time frame of the third emigration wave, despite the
presence of many historiographical sources, is also not clearly established.
A. Ozenbashly considered the third wave to be during 1860-1862, E. Chernyshev in
1860, and other authors 1859-1860s (59). In defining the time frame of this
emigration, it would be more logical to include the period from the earliest to the
latest dates, and not ignoring the emigration wave during the period of the Crimean
War, that is 1854-1862. M. Pinson (60), the author of one of the most important
monographs on the subject, proposes the same chronological time frame.
The chronology of the subsequent emigration waves gets even more
complicated. There are only two studies on the emigration of 1874: the study by P.
Martyanov which was already mentioned, and the study by I. Mufti-Zade (61). The
emigrations from the end of the 19th to the beginning of 20th centuries, which peaked
in 1902-1903, are also covered in newspaper publications (62). Because this
emigration was not deemed worth studying by scholars, its chronological time frame
is a debatable issue.
Thus, the varying time frames of the first three waves, as well as contradictory
evidence for the last two emigration waves, show that the emigration problem was
given more attention in popular literature than in the scholarly works, and that it
awaits detailed research. This research requires utilization of sources not only in the
Russian archives but also the foreign archives in Turkey, Romania, and Poland, where
Crimean Tatar immigrants settled.
It is obvious that the historical sources are unevenly balanced, most of them pertain
to the first emigration wave (1800-1812) and the third wave (1850-1860s). One can
talk about the evolution of the opinions of authors only with respect to the first and in
particular the third emigration waves. For the latter, there exists a histriographical
tradition and scholarly continuity, as evident in the works by E. Chernyshev and A.
There are no general studies on the issue of emigrations that provide a
synthesis. Popular literature is prevalent among works especially dedicated to this
subject: N. Scherban (63), A. U. (64), P.K. Martyanov, A. Ozenbashly, and G.P. Levitskiy
(65), E.I. Totleben (66), A. Volynets, and others. A. Markevich and E. Chernyshev
approached the topic more scientifically. The numerous references, which constitute a
large body of fragmentary information from different resources, require a careful and
Let us now move on to the consideration of the main reasons for each
emigration wave, their central features and characteristics.
It is understandable that all researchers have studied the reasons for the
emigrations of the Tatars, as well as the circumstances and the scale of each of the
In the opinions of most of researchers, the main reason for the first emigration,
which followed after the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Empire in 1784, was
the fear of changes stemming from the establishment of "new economic and legal
order of life" by the Russian authorities (A. Markevich). As a result, there was a
"belief that government... would not want them to remain in Crimea and will take
various measures to exile them" (V. Kondaraki). There was also attraction "to Turkey,
which had the same religion, and the encouragement by clerics and mirzas"
(F.Lashkov). Even the reported lack of Tatar ties to their land is also cited as one of
the reasons for emigration (A. Markevich).
A. Ozenbashly took a contrary position. He thought that the religious and
nationalistic reasons were secondary. He named the Imperial government as the
principal culprit of all emigration waves of Tatars, which "by way of subtle methods...
of the state apparatus" had implemented the policy of "forcing out the indigenous
population from the places of long settlement." He thought that this emigration was
"in accordance with the desires of the government and Potemkin himself who were
engrossed into the "the Greek project." This project had the aim of restoring power of
the Byzantine Empire, headed by the monarch of the Russian Imperial House, along
the Black Sea coast."
Likewise, there is also no unity of opinions on the size of the first wave of
emigrations. Many of researchers noted a widely ranging estimates of the number of
Tatars who went to the Ottoman Empire. They referred to contradictory information
by their predecessors, but didn't make their own calculations. The estimates range
from 4,000-5,000 to 300,000 (K. Khanatsky), from 50,000 to 140,000
(A.Skalkovskiy) and from 350,000 to 500,000 (A. Ozenbashly). Based on the estimate
of the size of the population on the peninsula on the eve of Russian conquest in 1783,
which was 260,000-280,000, A.I. Markevich thought that a number of emigrants of
the first wave didn't exceed 80,000. Thus, he calls into question the most popular
figure used by the historians of the 19th century - 300,000.
The second emigration between 1800 and 1812 is even less examined in the
historical sources. E.L. Markov doubts the existence of statistical information on that
event. At the same time, P.K. Martyanov gives not only the number of emigrants
3,199 - but also links this emigration with the Bucharest peaceful agreement
concluded in 1812. Under this agreement Russia was obliged not to prevent the
Budzhukskyi and Edisanskyi Tatars from moving to Turkey.
The third emigration of Crimean Tatars, 1854-1862, has been most thoroughly
studied in the Russian historiography. More details of the events have been described
by G. Levitsky, E. Totleben and N. Scherban in the journal Kolokol. The number of
emigrants during 1860-1862 was, according to the official information, 192,360.
Although the spectrum of opinions varies widely, it seems that one can even talk
about a certain evolution of assessments as we advance in time from the event itself.
The dominant theme in the studies from the 1860s, which were written during
the height of the emigration and soon after, is the need to rapidly colonize Crimea by
Slavic and partially by German settlers (N. Scherban, Emigratsiya krymskih tatar i
cherkeskih nogaytsev, Ref. 67). The authors of these studies advance numerous proposals
on "saving" the region. They openly declare the anti-Tatar
sentiments: "...to detain on our land a tribe who does not want to live with us and will
only be a burden to us means to bother about something that is impossible as well as
disadvantageous" (N. Scherban). From the point of view of state interests "the
reduction of the Tatar population" in order to "fill the region with more talented race"
is recommended (N. Scherban), because "the Tatars, due to their Moslem-Asiatic
character, are not amenable to be improved" (K. Khanatsky). However, Khanatsky
confesses that "as a labor force which has become attuned to the local environment"
the Tatars "have a significant advantage," but only " the leadership will
be in hands of the enlightened people" (I. Khanatsky).
Among reasons for emigration these authors cite religious fanaticism (N.
Sherban, A. Markevich), fear of persecutions for "ambiguous behavior" during the
war (K. Khanatsky), poor cultural level of Tatars (Krym: The guide-book, Ref. 68; A. Markevich), reluctance to do compulsory military service and "nationalism" (A. Markevich).
Two authors, E.I. Totleben and G.P. Levitsky, demonstrate their attempts to
analyze objectively the real reasons of the mass emigration of Crimean Tatars. The
two studies were written in the period of this emigration, in the beginning of the
1860s, but were published much later. Both studies are characterized by a historical
approach to the problem. The authors consider the emigration wave not a product of
an instantaneous irrational drive, but a natural result of the difficult material situation
of the Tatars, stemming from the confiscation of their land and the willfulness of
numerous Russian chiefs. "The landowners... have often appropriated the land of the
Crimean Tatars. ... 30 years ago in Crimea almost all landowners were free Tatar and
a small number of others who owned orchards along the Southern shore and in the
valleys" (E. Totleben). "All orders of the local officials were flagrantly unfair when
they concerned the ownership of land by the Tatar population," and "nothing was exempt
from violation and arbitrariness, neither the forests, nor the water" (G. Levitskiy).
Pondering about the life of the Tatars in Russia before the Crimean War of
1853, Levitskiy states with surprise that "even the Russian population wouldn't put up
without a grumble or a clear resistance even with one tenth of the hurt and injustices
that the Crimean Tatars have suffered. However... they consider Crimean Tatars as
harmful and stupid." Levitsky thinks that the real reason for this attitude was "a desire
to take the Crimea from the hands of the Crimean Tatars and settle it with Orthodox
An article in Kolokol takes the same position on this issue. It critically
assesses the role of the government in this emigration and does not hide its
sympathies towards the Crimean Tatars: "Upon the end of the war the government
realized that the population of Crimea, which is of different origin and religion, can be
a danger in case of a new war, and that measures need to be taken to settle this region
with the Russians or, at the very least, with the Bulgarians. This is why it was
forbidden to prevent the Tatars and the Nogays from emigrating to Turkey." The
Tatars suddenly "discovered that government does not require them to stay in Russia." (See: "Goneniye na krymskih tatar," Ref. 59.)
Among the reasons for this emigration were, in the opinion of E.I.Totleben,
"information on the intention of the government to deport Tatars from Crimea to the
interior provinces," rumors "on converting Tatars into Christianity" after the
establishment of a new eparchy in Melitopol, and also talks that the Tatars, like the
inhabitants of other provinces, will be drafted to the military service. Totleben doesn't
discount religious factor, supposing that emigration of the Nogays from the Caucasus
to Turkey, who have "passed through Kerch peninsula and boarded ships at Kerch and
at Feodosia ... have unwittingly evoked in the Tatars a desire to follow their religious
folks to Turkey."
In answering the question of what could have prompted the entire people
"which were patient, faithful, and fatalistic" and, therefore, "of rather high morals" for such panicked escape, Levitskiy names several reasons.
First, in the period of the Crimean War the Cossack patrols roamed the
province and often detained the Tatars (on the ground of their intention to join the
enemy). If the Tatars refused to pay bribes for their release, the Cossacks presented
the Tatars to the officials as traitors. As a result, many Tatars were exiled to Orel,
Kursk, Ekaterinoslavl, and Kherson provinces.
The second reason noted by Levitskiy is the "the unequal compensations" paid
for damages sustained during the war. The compensations "were paid most unfairly,
and this have strongly undermined the Tatar attachment to the Russian
Finally, in the opinion of Levitskiy, land quarrels which have gone on for
many decades played a big role as well. By the 1850s "the desire to extract all land
from the hands of the Crimean Tatars became so strong that the seizure of inheritable
plots of land from the Tatar peasants, to be converted first into a communal, and later
into personal property, became the law." The researcher also points to "a heavy
burden of taxes and duties" that he describes in details, and to the "inadequacy of the
judicial system and legal proceedings, inconsistent with the spirit and the character of
As we can see, the reasons that Levitsky highlights are mainly economical.
E.I. Totleben refrains searching for the guilty parties. He only alludes that emigration
was precipitated by the regional administration. However, he writes that because of
the abuses of local bosses, "the Tatars deserve special patronage from the government, similar to the one accorded to them by Count Vorontsov."
The authorof the Kolokol article takes a more radical position on this issue: "The government was
ousting the loyal Tatar population in order to populate the Crimea with Russians, and
only when 100,000 Crimean Tatars were gone did the government realize that
Russians would not go to Crimea. (59) He
lays the full blame on the government, personified by the minister M.N. Muravyev. In
the works by F. Khartahay written shortly after the emigrations of 1854-1862, the
motive for the end of the Crimean Tatar history appears: "The Crimean
Tatars now have only their historical significance, which is nevertheless not
unimportant for us."
In the publications of a later period, particularly the scientific-popular
literature and the memoirs, there emerged a theme of regret about the Tatars who left:
"Instead of apprehending and shooting the abusive officials, we have chased out ... the
most honest of all Crimean tribes, the Tatars. Nobody was so mistreated in this war as
this peaceful and useful tribe. It was defamed with betrayal and was forced to leave its
ancient motherland....The Crimea perished after the deportation of Tatars"
(Markov). The nostalgia for Oriental Crimea, personified in the remaining Tatars and
those Tatar settlements that were preserved, becomes the dominant motive. " In Otuzi
there is a special style, a lovable, ancient Crimean style....The Tatars bring a certain
tenderness and endearment to the Otuzskaya valley." (Yelpatyevskiy (69).
In the subsequent prerevolutionary historiography, the opinion of G.P.
Levitskiy, who attributed emigrations mainly to economic reasons, has become
dominant. K.I. Verner interpreted the problem along the same lines as Levitsky (The
book of memories). In turn, his analysis is regarded as the most sound by the authors
of the study that claims to be a conceptual treatment and generalization of the problem
The Soviet historiography of the pre-war period took a new approach to
understanding the reasons for the Crimean Tatar emigration in 1854-1862 (E.
Chernyshev). This study, written on the basis of archival documents, leaves a dual
impression. On the one hand, the author establishes as his task to study the problem
scientifically, and analyzes a lot of sources and archival documents. On the other
hand, the study already shows traces of the 1930s publications, when the practice of
attaching labels was the norm. Aggressive criticism of predecessors and their
arguments constitutes a significant part of the study. The author does so to prove the
main reason for emigrations: "the class contradictions and class
struggle of the Tatars which unfolded on the territory of Crimea as a result of the new
capitalist relations." It is absolutely clear that this reason cannot be an exhaustive explanation of immigration. This conclusion is nevertheless the only possible one for a
Marxist historian limited by the class approach as a way of thinking.
The emigration of 1874 and subsequent emigration waves have been nearly
ignored in the historiography.
About the first one, we know that it was connected with the announcement
of compulsory military draft, which led to brooding resentment among the Tatar
population. Perhaps the only measure that was taken by the government to prevent a
new wave of emigration was the establishment of special Crimean squadron. For this
squadron "certain provisions and regulations of troop duty were changed," and "the
orders of internal service" which took into account the national and religious
particular qualities of Crimean Tatars were introduced (I.Mufti-zade, P.Martyanov).
Emigration processes from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th
centuries are studied even less. There is evidence that at the height of the emigration,
in 1902-1903, some 600-800 Tatars left Crimea daily (Krym: The guide-book). Local
press presents a glimpse of the emigration wave of that period (Ob emigratsionih
planah krymskih tatar...; K voprosu o dvizhenii tatar na yuge Rossii) but there are no serious studies on this issue.
Thus, in the Russian and latter in the Soviet historiography of 1800-1930, the
first and third waves of Crimean Tatar emigration are researched the most, while the
second, fourth, and fifth waves are only sketched. For researching the latter, it is
necessary first of all to create a representative base of sources. This would allow
scholarly study of these emigration waves. With regard to the better studied
waves, the first and the third, new sources need to be used archival and print
documents, including those from the libraries and the archives of the states where the
Crimean Tatars have emigrated (Turkey, Romania, and Poland). The application of the
modern methods and approaches is also important in the forthcoming research.
Specifically, ethno-psychological methods may be employed to determine the reasons
for emigration, while quantitative methods may be used to calculate the scale of
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Posted: 18 August 2002
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