Mr. Mustafa Dzhemilev held a speech before the VI Crimean Tatar Kurultai began electing the new Head of Crimean Tatar Mejlis. In this speech he summarised 22 years of his work as the Head of Mejlis and shared his vision of his people's future, having warned that this future wouldn’t be easy, so everybody has to stay firm.
Speaking of Crimea’s current situation, Mr.Dzhemilev stressed that much less is done for the Crimean Tatars than it should be, but their position no doubt improved if to compare what it was after their repatriation.
“Most of our people returning to our Native land. We don’t have to live in tent camps and do hunger striking in order to get local registration any more. We managed to open several schools teaching our children in our native language, built dozens of mosques both on our own and with investments from some Muslim countries, founded several serial publications in Crimean Tatar and one Information Agency. We can see programmes in our Mother Tongue several hours per week on the State television, we have musical bands, drama theatre and some other things on trifles,” — he said.
Besides, the former Head of the Mejlis named the repatriation without bloodsheds the main achievement: “We can affirm that there is no other example in the history when the whole nation, i/e/ this many people, were resettled without bloodsheds. This is our national movement’s main achievement, as we, from our very foundation in the post-war Soviet Union, believed in democracy and humanitarian principles of non violence practiced by our great Ruler Ismail Gasprinskii.”
Mustafa Dzhemilev mentioned the Crimean Tatars’ problems, too: they lack not only infrastructure, but even elementary accommodations for living in 300 of newly-founded towns of Crimea. Besides, what’s more important, the situation with the Crimean Tatar language is even more alarming: “The nation faces the danger of losing the Mother tongue and, consequently, our national identity and uniqueness.” He reminded that Crimean Tatar language has been in the UNESCO list of languages in danger of extinction for many years.
The former Head of Mejlis said that the nation’s Supreme representative body would have to not only demand compensation for repatriating Crimean tatars, but also search sponsors beyond Ukraine, perhaps with the assistance of the Crimean Tatar World Congress.
Besides, Mustafa Dzhemilev bring the delegates to notice the problems in the sphere of religion, namely standing against extremism along with the Religious Administration of Muslims of Crimea and fundraising for building new mosques.
Concluding his speech, the soon-to-resign Head of Mejlis said that Crimean Tatars stand for association with the EU, “as in this case there’ll be someone for constant third-party monitoring of restoring the Crimean Tatar nation’s rights, both by EU and international organisations.”
Mustafa Dzhemilev said he has great expectations for the Kurultai for the next 5 years and wished that this term became a real break-through in restoring rights of Crimean Tatar nation.