Crimean News No 17
Some organizational issues of the upcoming session of Kurultay of the Crimean Tatar People were discussed at the meeting of the Mejlis on the 31st of July. It was decided to hold the session of the Kurultay on 1-3 October 1999 and to adopt an agenda. The Mejlis also appointed the staff of the Working Group for organizing the Kurultay. The following issues will be discussed during the Kurultay:
Changes and amendments to the bylaws of the Kurultay of Crimean Tatar People, Regulations about the Mejlis and the Revision Commission of Crimean Tatar People, Ukrainian Presidential elections, rotation of the Mejlis members, acknowledgement of the authority of the Mejlis's Chairman and members of the Revision Commission.
The issue of the failure of the Ukrainian and Crimean governments to comply with the previously made agreements about of the Crimean Tatar problems has also been discussed. As a result of that, the Headquarters for Organizing the Mass Protest Actions, governed by the Mejlis, has started the preparations for a new series of protest actions. The group will present a developed plan of action at the next meeting of the Mejlis.
Information Service of the Mejlis, newspaper "Golos Kryma" ("Voice of Crimea"), No 32 (299), 6 July 1999, p. 1.
Our note: The Kurultay of the Crimean Tatar People is a Crimean Tatar national congress. The first Kurultay was held in Bakhchisaray in November 1917. The first Crimean Tatar National Government was formed at this Kurultay, and Numan Chelebidzihan was elected President. Bolsheviks in Sevastopol murdered him in February 1918. The second Kurultay took place in Simferopol in June 1991, and the delegates adopted the Declaration of Crimean Tatar National Sovereignty and chose the representative body - the Mejlis. The Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, the well-known dissident and human rights activist, became the Chairman of the Mejlis. The third Kurultay took place
in June 1996.
The conflict solved
Recently, several cases of "self-appropriation" of land plots by Crimean Tatars have taken place in Sudak. According to the town administration, the situation is dangerous and needs immediate resolution. After serious negotiations, it was made clear that the people took this illicit action consciously because they had not been able to
receive plots of land for construction for several years. Meanwhile, many local tycoons have been able to build huge mansions on the coast, and this made them indignant.
Having researched all aspects of the problem, the authorities decided to prepare construction plans for 280 plots of land in town. However, to solve the problem completely, it is necessary to give more than 400 plots of land. It was agreed that these 400 land plots will be given on the field where "self-appropriations" initially took place. This land is not usable for agriculture. In the near future, town authorities will test the land and prepare a plan for constructing a new settlement. The land will be given to formerly deported persons and to local residents who had been on the waiting list for receiving plots of land for a long time.
"Krymskaya Gazeta" ("Crimean Newspaper"), No 143 (15757), 6 August 1999, p. 1.
Renounce Uzbekistan citizenship under a simplified procedure
58% of Crimean Tatars, citizens of Uzbekistan, living in Crimea used the simplified procedure for renouncing the Uzbekistan citizenship. The number of Crimean Tatars who submitted the application for renouncing the Uzbekistan citizenship is 26,389, of which 8,539 became citizens of Ukraine. 9,434 Crimean Tatars renounced their Uzbekistan citizenship. Ukrainian-Uzbekistan Agreement on Simplified Procedure for Crimean Tatars for renouncing the Uzbekistan citizenship was ratified by both countries in August 1998. According to this simplified procedure, Crimean Tatars who are the citizens of Uzbekistan can renounce their citizenship without being charged the $100 fee that was required. Before the ratification of the Agreement, 61,000 Crimean Tatars who were citizens of Uzbekistan lived in Crimea.
Newspaper "Krymskie Izvestiya" ("Crimean News"), No 153 (904), 5 August 1999, p. 1.
The first national school in the region
This building in Bakhchisaray had been used for kindergarten for 250-320 children. Now it was decided to create school No. 5 with instruction in the Crimean Tatar language. The admission process has already begun.
Last year Crimean Tatar boys and girls of the village Viktorovka (near Bakhchisaray) went to school No. 3, where some classes were taught in the mother tongue. Now they are trying to transfer to the new school, which will be the first national school in the region.
Valentin Yarovoy, "Krymskaya Pravda" ("Crimean Truth"), No 140 (22312), 4 August 1999, p. 1.
Farmers-Pensioners can receive rent payment for land
The President of Ukraine signed the Decree "On guarantee of protection of economic interests and social security
of farmers-pensioners, having the right for a land plot." This document is directed to the protection of economic interests of farmers-pensioners. The Decree gives the right to farmer-pensioners, having the right to receive their own plot of land to sign rent treaties with enterprises, for which they had worked. The rent payment can not be less than 0.5 per cent from the price of the plot of land itself.
Maria Lashkina, newspaper "Golos Kryma" ("Voice of Crimea"), No 32 (299), 6 August 1999, p. 1.
"My position about Crimea did not change"
(An excerpt from the interview given by Moscow's Mayor Yuri Luzhkov to the newspaper "Krymskaya Pravda" ("Crimean Truth"))
My position did not change: Crimea is Russian land, Sevastopol is a Russian town, and the Black Sea Fleet without Crimea and Sevastopol is not a fleet. Speaking of the significance of the Black Sea Fleet, let us remember whom the Russian government addressed when there was a need for formulating a military strategy about the crisis in Yugoslavia. Of course, it is the Black Sea Fleet that is capable of bringing the majority of Russian peacekeeping forces to Kosovo.
Concerning Crimea: Crimea has always been a strategic point in the Black Sea for Russia. If Ukraine were solving the problems of the Crimean autonomy in view of the interests of the Russian majority, maybe the general attitude of the people toward Ukraine's policy in Crimea would be more tolerant and understanding. Speaking about the attitude of Russia to Crimea, I can say that I feel very sorry about it at the moment. I hear today: you with your position relating to Crimea and Sevastopol lost the game… My position is the position of the majority of Russians in Russia. However, the Russian authorities do not share it. The authorities lost the game, because Russians will not forget the country's collapse. They will not forget the loss of Crimea and Sevastopol. If the problem of Crimea is not solved in favor of Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol will remain the bone of contention between Ukraine and Russia forever, and we will never be able to speak sincerely about kinship and fraternity between our countries.
Tatyana Ryabchikova, newspaper "Krymskaya Pravda" ('Crimean Truth"), No 139 (22311), 3 August 1999, p. 1-3.
Our note: The Mayor of the Russian capital, Yuri Luzhkov, is one of the candidates for the position of President of Russia. The elections will be held in 2000. Luzhkov is a supporter of a "hard" position toward Ukraine, and he believes that Crimea and Sevastopol must be returned to Russia. The indigenous people of Crimea – Crimean Tatars and their interests are absolutely ignored by the Russian politician.
The construction workers of the gas pipeline in the Dzhankoy-Feodosia-Kerch area have completed an important
phase. The water tests of pipes in the interval from 64 to 93 km have been finished. The tests showed that all technological operations had been properly conducted. The first part (30 km) is ready to be used. Authorities are confident that the first 145 km of the main line will be in service by the end of August.
Vyacheslav Darkin, "Krymskaya Gazeta" ("Crimean Newspaper"), No142 (15756), 5 August 1999, p .7.
Crimea: a look into the future...
The Crimean Government is assessing the situation of the resort season as critical – only 2 million tourists visited Crimea this year. The administration of the tourist branch says that in the future the methods of work need to be changed. The following interview with the Minister of Resorts and Tourism of Crimea, Alexander Taryanik, conducted by the correspondent of "Zerkalo Nedeli" ("Week Mirror") newspaper will shed some light on the problem.
- Alexander Ivanovich! Every summer in Crimea is same as the year before, but the experts from your branch see the changes each year. What was different about the resort season this year?
Ministry of Resorts and Tourism of Crimea, the Government and Verkhovnaya Rada (Parliament) of Crimea did their best to organize the season in a new way. We increased the advertising for the resort. For example, we held the 41 Congress of FIJET in Crimea and now receive advertising materials from Poland, Hungary, Turkey, Tunisia, Portugal, Spain, France and other countries of the world. We started a program of tourism reconstruction in Crimea in cooperation with TASIS. Crimean Center for the Tourism Development (CCTD), Crimean Association of Tourist Agencies (CATA), Crimean Resort Association, and Association of Green Village Tourism were created. These organizations are studying the world experience in our branch and implementing progressive technologies at home. 35 per cent of the tourists coming to Ukraine want to see our peninsula. The revenue to the state budget from our tourism is comparable with Kiev's revenue from tourism, and other regions of Ukraine can not compare with us. Taking into consideration that tourism is an area that will develop in the next century, we are trying to implement international practices. The airport, the train station, and the sea ports have been renovated in Crimea. The introduction of regular flights ("Boeing" and "Yak-42 D" aircrafts) between Istanbul and Simferopol has connected Crimea with the entire world. Now, there are flights practically to all continents. In particular, the flights to America via Istanbul are $200 cheaper than via Kiev. Our Ministry opened its representation in Moscow. It organized resort festivals there last year.
In the past, 80% were from Russia and other republics of NIS, and only 20% were from Ukraine. Now the situation has changed. This year 90% of the tourists came from Ukraine, and this trend will continue in the future. Here we have some reasons. First, the protectionist policy of the Russian government to their own resorts… Russian press is full of coverage that misrepresents the situation in Crimea. Last year the supposed reason was the inflation of the rouble, and this year it is the transport and the "gas crisis". There is an open anti-advertising. In Russia for example, resorts in Saki and Evpatoria are considered as inferior resorts, although out of the 600 mud-lakes of the former USSR, it is Saki and Moynaks that are considered very unique. We even export Saki's mud. There are also the well-known mineral water springs here. That's why being realistic, we decided that even though we all want to see Russian tourists here, but while there is a "hand" directing them, we now give priority to Ukrainian tourists. Of course, guests from overseas are more than welcome to come too.
- How is the quality of the service changing?
…Crimea, as far as its cultural and historical values and its health rehabilitation factors are concerned, far surpasses many international resorts. Our main goal is to provide excellent service to people. Many of the resorts have access to cellular communication system and special resort banking facilities. Many hotels are being renovated, and in particular, hotel "Yalta" will have more of a European look soon. About 300,000 dollars have been allocated for the reconstruction of each floor in this hotel. We are doing many things in order to attract tourists from the countries of Black Sea, Mediterranean region, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Northern Europe, and the American continent. For example, the employees of the tourists industry in Crimea now have to become multilingual. In the future, foreign language will be the first professional requirement. We will soon start the construction of a mountain cable car system, which will cost $5 million. Therefore, there are plans for building several hotels in the mountainous areas.
They plan to build a yacht port in Alushta. This is paradoxical: yacht sport is one of the most developed in the world, but on the Crimean coast we have practically no ports. Yachtsmen, who are rich people as the rule, can be a good source of revenues. With the help of these undertakings, we are planing to prolong the Crimean resort season.
We hope that we will not repeat the mistake of Nice, where a large part of forests and gardens was destroyed for construction of hotels and resorts. The Ministry's point of view is that our resorts should preserve their gardens as an important ingredient of the health rehabilitation process - the main goal of the Crimean spas.
- How will the cost of vacation change?
- Our prices today are comparable with international rates. Where will you find a place to spend summer vacation for $10 with the meals included? We can not reduce the prices all the time, because our main goal is to renovate the resorts, and we need money for this. We believe that Crimea really can gain $150-200 millions annually from resorts and tourism. Today this branch is giving 40% of the revenues to the Crimean budget. Using these sources and investments, we think that in 5-8 years, we will reconstruct the tourism industry and even bring it to the level of international standards.
N.Semena. Newspaper "Zerkalo Nedeli" ("Week Mirror"), No31 (252), 7 August 1999, p.13.