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Apakay – a song for the Crimean Tatars deported by Stalin

Apakay – a song for the Crimean Tatars deported by Stalin

On 18 May 1944, Stalin deported all the indigenous population of Crimea, more than 230,000 Crimean Tatars, from their native peninsula to Central Asia. More than 100,000 died along the way.

The Crimean Tatars are a Turkic people who were slowly driven out of Crimea after Russia’s first annexation.

This song was written in 2014 in response to Russia’s illegal annexation, which is driving Crimean Tatars out of their native home once again.


Release the sun into the arms of where the dawn breaks
Cover my whole crimson sky, Apakay
While I depart once again, to find a new homeland
Gather my orphaned tent, Apakay
The dark north is now about to give birth to the joy of sunrise
But it is the time to raid! We’re heading to where the enemy is numerous
If I survive and come back to your arms, thirsty
Fetch me mare’s milk with that old cup, Apakay
I entrust my keen steel dagger to you
If i beg mercy from the enemy on battlefield
Or should I hold my life dearer than my cause and flee
Kill me with that dagger, with thy own hands, Apakay.

2014 – Russia’s occupation of Crimea
Today, the Crimean Tatars are once again being driven out of their homeland.
Crimean Tatar media is banned
Representative organ Mejlis is banned
Crimean Tatars labeled as “extremists,” kidnapped, jailed, killed
Many leave their native home once again
A creeping genocide against Crimean Tatars is happening today once again.

Music: Veysel Gökberk Manga
Poem: M. Bahadırhan Dinçaslan
Video: Ganna Naronina


Crimean Tatars are labeled as “extremists,” kidnapped, jailed, killed. Many are forced to leave their native home once again.

A creeping genocide against Crimean Tatars is underway in occupied Crimea.

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