The presidium of the Platform of Crimean Tatars. Photo by Gungor Yavuzaslan&Nedim Ergun Kirimli
On 4-5 April 2015, 43 Crimean Tatar organizations dubbed the “Platform of Crimean Tatar organizations” met in Ankara, Turkey and adopted a resolution, as reported by QHA. This meeting happened only a few days after ATR, the only Crimean Tatar channel in the world, was silenced by the Russian occupation regime, following a year of repressions against the community that is the most outspoken against Russia’s occupation of Crimea.
The meeting was held with the participation of Crimean Tatar veteran leader Mustafa Dzhemilev and Refat Chubarov, head of the Tatar representative organ, the Mejlis. Both leaders have been banned from entering their native homeland for five years by the occupation authorities. The resolution adopted after the meeting claims that the year of Russian occupation had “annihilated” the national and democratic rights of Crimean Tatars and, as they claim, the main human freedoms – freedom of thought, expression, press, establishment, job, movement, and the right to conscientious objection:
- Crimean Tatar leaders have been deported from their motherland;
- Mr. Ahtem Çiygöz, the Vice President of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, has been arrested and is still in prison;
- The only Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR and other media institutions run and owned by Crimean Tatars had been shut down;
- Russian citizenship has become de-facto obligatory, as people who do not hold Russian passports are deported and fired;
- Crimean Tatar young people are forced to do military service in the Russian army.
Other plans of the Crimean Tatars include establishing a press organ in Turkey that will “proclaim the Crimean Tatar national struggle to the World” and holding the Second World Congress of Crimean Tatars in Turkey, the country with the largest Crimean Tatar diaspora, on 31 July – 02 August 2015; preparations for it are already underway.
The World Congress of Crimean Tatars is an international NGO uniting and coordinating the efforts of Crimean Tatar NGOs worldwide. Its first assembly was held in Crimea in 2009.
Photos from the meeting by Gungor Yavuzaslan and Nedim Ergun Kirimli