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Crimean News No12


"The History of Crimea Needs to be Rewritten"

News of the Mejlis

The Formerly Deported People Need the Support of the Authorities

On the Edge of the Precipice

Ukrainian High School in Simferopol

The Center of Turkish Culture Has Been Restored

The Medical Assistance


"The History of Crimea Needs to be Rewritten

 

On June 23 a well-known Crimean historian, Professor Dmitriy Ursu, conducted a presentation of books in the Ismail Gasprinskiy Republican Crimean Tatar library (RCTL). Those books have been published within the I.Gasprinskiy RCTL series called "Bilgi Chokragi" ("The Source of Knowledge"). Among them one can find "Essays from the Crimean Tatar History and Culture 1921-1941" and "Biobibliographic Dictionary of the Artistic Crimean Tatar Men".

"One of the biggest difficulties is the deficit of factual history and the inaccessibility and absence of documents. The truth of history should enter the peoples consciousness. The History of Crimea needs to be rewritten" said Mr.Ursu in his speech.

Gulnara Useinova, newspaper "Golos Kryma" ("Voice of Crimea"), No 27 (294) 2nd July 1999, p. 2.

News of the Mejlis

On June 26 the Chairman of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People M.Dzhemilev and the Chairman of the Inspection Commission of the Kurultay A.Mustafaev took part in the celebration of a national holiday of Kazan Tatars "Sabantuy 99", which took place in Zaporrizya under the sponsorship of the Ukrainian Moslem Party. Mr.Dzhemilev said that Moslems of Ukraine have to do everything possible to revive the Islamic religion and at the same time avoid extreme Moslem movements, which are emerging in some countries like Afghanistan. He stated that Ukrainian Moslems will assist in the creation of the tolerant, democratic society. They intend to stop all attempts to bring back the totalitarian Communist regime.

Informational Service of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People, newspaper "Golos Kryma" ("Voice of Crimea"), No 27 (294) 2nd July 1999, p. 1.

 

The Formerly Deported People Need the Support of the Authorities

 

On June 30 a meeting took place in the Verkhovnaya Rada (Parliament) of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The topic of the discussion was the settlement of the formerly deported people. Leaders of various communities of Crimea were invited to the meeting. The Chairman of the Verkhovnaya Rada (Parliament) Leonid Gratch mentioned a sum of 10 million Grivna (approx. 2.5 million US dollars). He offered to contribute this money to the budget of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea for year 2000. Mr. Gratch appealed to the participants of the meeting to form a group, which will decide how the money should be spent.

O.Volodin, Newspaper "Krymskaya Pravda" ("Crimean Truth"), No 118 (22290), 1st July 1999, p. 1.

On the Edge of the Precipice

 

The department of the Crimean Tatar language and literature in Simferopol State University (SSU) is being reduced every year and now even its name has been changed. The department was opened in 1968 within the Tashkent Pedagogical Institute (Uzbekistan). In the beginning of 1990 it was transferred to the Simferopol State University (Crimea, Ukraine). The teaching positions are reduced every year in order to accommodate the new departments Eastern languages. The main argument of the SSU is the necessity of restoration of Eastern Studies, which existed in a Crimean Institute* before the war**, in the university.

In 1996, out of the 50 available positions in the faculty, 10 were allocated for "Turkish Language and Literature" and the requirements for the available positions were changed. Instead of being tested on the knowledge Crimean Tatar language and literature, the people who join the faculty now need to take an exam which evaluates their English speaking and writing skills. Next year 10 positions from the Crimean Tatar Language and Literature department will be removed to make room for the new department of "Arabic Language and Literature". In the future, a "Persian Language and Literature" department will also be created. According to the S. Abduramanova, Head of the Crimean Tatar Language and Literature faculty, the university administration is ignoring all objections. A few days ago, the Council of SSU decided to change the name of the department from "Crimean Tatar Language and Literature" to "Department of Eastern Studies". Representatives of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People, "Maarifchi" Crimean Tatar Teachers Association, Mufriat, writers, teachers, and public figures met in order to discuss the situation. They decided to create a group of representatives, which will debate about this issue with the university administration and ask for the restoration of the original name of the department.

Gulnara Useinova, newspaper "Golos Kryma" ("Voice of Crimea"), No 27 (294) 2nd July 1999, p. 2.

Ours note.

*Predecessor of the Simferopol State University.

** WWII i.e. before 1941.

 

Ukrainian High School in Simferopol

 

The Parent Committee of the Ukrainian High School in Simferopol demanded that the Minister of Education of Crimea Valentina Levina resign because "she is the woman, who along with anti-state powers is trying to destroy the Ukrainians in Crimea". A number of days ago members of the Parent Committee demanded the creation of normal conditions for their children's education in the Ukrainian High School in Simferopol". According to the parents, the Ministry of Education of Crimea does not care about the interests of Ukrainians, who live in Crimea.

At the moment the Ukrainian High School does not meet a number of sanitary and fire requirements. The area of the Ukrainian High School is 1.2 thousand square meters instead of 6 thousand square meters. 420 students attend this High School. The High School Administration can not satisfy all the requests of people who want to study in Ukrainian language. The members of Parent Committee are insisting that the building of the former Ukrainian boarding school be a part of the High School. This building is now used as a school for children with mental retardation. If the Ministry of Education does not accept their demands, then the members of the Parent Committee will organize demonstrations and pickets near the building of the Council of Ministers as well as appeal to different international organizations. They said that "the articles of the Ukrainian Constitution which guarantee the education in the Ukrainian language are being violated".

This particular Ukrainian High School in Simferopol was completed in 1997. There are only four secondary schools in Crimea, where the Ukrainian language is used to teach the students.

Interfax-Ukraine, Simferopol, newspaper "Golos Kryma" ("Voice of Crimea"), No 27 (294) 2nd July 1999, p. 1.

The Center of Turkish Culture Has Been Restored

After the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 Stalins Regime attempted to destroy all traces of their presence on the peninsula even their cemeteries. About a hundred Crimean libraries were closed and 25 million books in Turkish language were burned. The Ismail Gasprinskiy Central Crimean Tatar Library was one of the first libraries to be restored and is now the largest Crimean Tatar library in the region. It was established in September of 1990 and was named after I. Gasprinskiy, a well-known Crimean Tatar writer, scientist, journalist, editor and publisher of the first Crimean Tatar newspaper "Terciman" (Translator). In 1995 as a result of the resolution of Council of Ministers of Crimea it transformed into a Republican Library. Since 1997 this library has been a member of "Eurasia" Association of Libraries, participant of Conference "Libraries and Associations in Changing World", and has had the business and informational links with national and state libraries of Russia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tatarstan, Ukraine and many European countries.

The library has books from the private collection of the scientist Basir Gafarov. The Gasprinjskiy librarys book collection consists of 14 thousand books, including 4 thousand in Crimean Tatar language, 1.3 thousand of which are rare and valuable tomes. There are books of I.Gasprinskiy, D.Seidamet, A.Ozenbashli, A.Akchokrakli, B.Choban-zade, E.Shemi-zade and other well-known Crimean Tatar culture figures. The most valuable articles in this library's possession are the photocopies of 61 volumes of Kadiasker books, which contain judicial documents of Crimean Khanate from 1613 until 1780.

In 1998 the Russian State Library gave more than 1600 Crimean Tatar books, published between 1900 and 1941, to Simferopol. In November of 1998 Alisher Navoi Uzbekistan State Library returned more than 300 Crimean Tatar books, published between 1960 and 1990 during the period of exile, to the Gasprinskiy library.

In 1994 the idea of restoring the library was brought forward by Mehmed Tutunci, Head of Publishing Center "Turkestan-Azerbaijan", and was supported and financed by the government of Netherlands. The rest of the money was provided by Soros Foundation in Ukraine.

The restoration of the library is still in progress. The Soros Foundation continues to finance the installation of electronic database catalogues, and the copying and publishing of books (including new books on Crimean Tatar language). The I.Gasprinskiy Library will be the modern center of Crimean Tatar culture after the project ends.

Nikolay Semena, newspaper "Zerkalo Nedeli" ("Week Mirror"), No25 (246) 26th June 1999, p. 14.

 

The Medical Assistance

 

Doctor Agnes Aksmann and her colleague Yanosh Svitek from Hungary visited Crimea as representatives of an organization called UNHCR, which wants to provide medical assistance to tubercular patients among the formerly deported people. This is second visit of the Hungarian doctors to Crimea. Last autumn they examined one thousand patients, half of which lived in Crimean Tatar settlements. Aksmann and Svitek brought expensive medical supplies and continued to examine patients with tuberculosis. These examinations took place in two Crimean Tatar settlements Hostabash in Koreiz, and in Hostel "Zvezdochka" ("Star") in Yalta. The purpose of the visit was to urge the local governments to finance a program to treat victims of tuberculosis. The local governments of the two towns promised to transfer the necessary sum of money to treat the poor Yalta inhabitants who are suffering from tuberculosis.

Yuriy Radin, "Krymskaya Gazeta" ("Crimean Newspaper"), No118 (15732), 2nd July 1999, p. 1.

 

From June 28 to July 8, 1999 teachers could take summer courses in a town called Lviv (West Ukraine). Thirty Crimean Tatar teachers from several regions of Crimea participated in this program. The organizers of these courses were: the Center of Educational Initiatives (Lviv), Department of Education of Lviv town, and the "Crimean Tatar Initiative" Foundation (Simferopol). The courses were sponsored by the Soros Foundation of Ukraine. The purpose of the summer courses was to assist the development of the educational system in Ukraine and to establish professional contacts of Crimean Tatar teachers with their colleagues from Western Ukraine. The director and the teachers of history from each Crimean school took the courses. During the two weeks trainers from Canada gave their own experience to teachers in the form of active education. While taking these courses, Crimean Tatar teachers organized a "Day of Crimean Tatar Culture".

Independent Correspondent.