Crimean Tatars Between Ukraine And Russia: Indigenous Non-Indigenous People

Crimean Tatars Between Ukraine And Russia: Indigenous Non-Indigenous People
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This spring, on March 13, the Ukrainian Parliament finally acknowledged Crimean tatars as the indigenous people of Ukraine. 283 Deputies gave their votes for this. The joy, however, had been too early to celebrate: after Russian Federation annexed the Crimean peninsula, implementing that act became extremely difficult.

Ukraine Guarantees…
“Ukraine guarantees maintaining and developing Crimean Tatars’ ethnic, cultural, lingual and religious identity as indigenous people and all the national minorities in Ukraine [...] guarantees protection and realisation of the Crimean Tatars’ essential right for self-determination in terms of unanimous and independent Ukrainian State,” — the document says.
Besides, the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, executive body of Crimean tatar peoples, is acknowledged authorized representative of Crimean tatar people. The Parliament charged the Cabinet of Ministers with developing and presenting the draft legislation acts for implementing the status of Crimean tatars as indigenous people of ukraine and the mechanisms of coordination between the State bodies of Ukraine and Crimean Tatar Mejlis as soon as possible.

… While Russia Oppresses
On August 9, when the World Day of Indigenous Peoples is celebrated, Head of Crimean Tatar Community in Kyiv Mr.Aslan Umerov took part in the “Ultimate Air” by the RadioVesti (Rus. “RadioNews”) station, where he spoke about the Crimean Tatars’ current situation.

“It’s important to revive the ethnic territorial autonomy, toponymics and create facilities for returning the remaining Crimean Tatars from the places of deportation and creating favorable conditions for them, infrastructure and ecosystem. How, of course, we all are in a difficult situation where our country has faced aggression and occupation, and they took our people in hostage of the crisis.”

Head of Community spoke about Crimean tatars who take part in the Anti-Terrorist operation, both in terms of mobilisation and volunteer battalions.

Mr. Umerov sees the bitter sarcasm in banning the Head of Mejlis advisor, Mr.Ismet Yuksel, from coming to Crimea for the next five years — exactly on the World’s Day of Indigenous Peoples. Federal Security Service reveals a very specific sense of humour when making “presents” like that one, Mr. Umerov thinks. “Ismet Yuksel ran one of the informational portals, the QHA (“Crimean News Agency”, Cr.-Tat.). Their news were done in rather neutral and diplomatical tone, but it appears it just wasn’t enough, as any pro-Ukrainian media or Media, registered in ukraine, are being persecuted.”

Though, having announced Crimea the part of its territory, Russia didn’t recognize the Crimean Tatars as its indigenous people. Crimean State Council explained the rejection for including the Crimean Tatars to the Register of Russian indigenous peoples by the fact that there as too many of them — as, according to the April 30, 1999 Federal Law № 82-ФЗ (FZ, — ed.) ”On Guarantees Of Rights For Thin Indigenous Peoples”, such peoples have to be less than 50,000 in number and maintain the traditional way of everyday life on their historical territory.

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