Crimean Tatars rally in solidarity with Euromaidan protests in Kyiv on December 2013. Photo: Mykola Semena
The second meeting of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars will take place on 1-2 August 2015 in Ankara, Turkey. Crimean Tatar NGOs from different countries will meet to discuss cooperation against the illegal occupation of Crimea and persecutions that Crimean Tatars face from the Russian Federation.
To date, 180 Crimean Tatar NGOs from 12 different countries have applied to participate in the Congress Meeting, which will bring together community leaders, politicians, representatives of mass media, scientists, leading human rights defenders, and activists.
Most of the world’s Crimean Tatar diaspora population in the world lives in Turkey. Crimean Tatars have left their homeland peninsula of Crimea for different countries of the world in 1783, after the first invasion of Crimea by the Russian Empire.
Crimea, the historical homeland of the Crimean Tatars, was illegally occupied once more by the Russian Federation on 27 February 2014, violating all types of international law and disrespecting ethical principles. Since the very first day of the occupation, systematic pressures have been applied by the illegal occupation administration and Moscow administration against the Crimean Tatars who are the original inhabitants and indigenous people of the Crimea.
The sole purpose of all these pressures is to put into practice again the policy of detatarization of Crimea as having been applied following the first invasion of Crimea in 1783 and to establish the Russian sovereignty in the Black Sea. During the period 1783-1922, more than one million Crimean Tatars were forced to migrate from their homeland Crimea because of the pressures and oppressions of Russia; and finally on 18 May 1944, the remaining Crimean Tatars were subjected to the vicious mass Deportation in which they lost 46% of their population and became the victims of the Genocide.
Today, 350,000 Crimean Tatars who have been able to return home from where they had been deported after the dissolution of the Soviet Union are under the same totalitarian oppressions again and face the increased risk of going out of existence. Since 27 February 2014 until today, 15,000 Crimean Tatars have had to leave the Crimea because of oppressions.
Besides, community and political leaders of the Crimean Tatar People have been banned by the Russian regime from entering the Crimea; all assets of the Qurultai and Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (MCTP), whose members are democratically elected and that are the unique self-governing bodies shown as example for a peaceful decentralized self-governance system in the world, were seized, and the Mejlis has been put out of commission. Abductions, murders, home raids, unfair custodies, long term detentions, censorships and shutdowns of media, and bans on the national education are increasingly continuing (for an overview of Russian repressions against Crimean Tatars, please see this timeline).
The 1st Meeting of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars was held in Aqmescit, the capital of the Motherland Crimea, in May 2009, with the participation of 800 delegates representing over 160 Crimean Tatar Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and Institutions operating in 12 countries.