Crimean news 49.
(Mass Media survey for 13-18 March 2000).
(The material is given in an abridged form).
The sitting of the Crimean Tatar Mejilis Presidium was held on March 11. The participants got acquainted with the report of the Mejilis chairman, Mustafa Djemilev, and the head of political-and-juridical department, Nadir Bakirov's. The updates were about their trip to Western Europe. The national deputy, Refat Chubarov, shared about the situation in Verkhovnaya Rada where the Crimean Tatars' problems would be mentioned. These hearing will take on April 5.
Apart from that, they discussed the problems of land reforms in the Crimea and Crimean Tatars’ participation in it. They also discussed the problems of national education.
"Avdet", ("Returning"), #5 (329), 14 March 2000, p.1.
Mustafa Djemilev's interview with the "Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine" newspaper.
· Two months are left till May 18, the Day of deportation. They keep saying different things about the protest and insubordination actions in correlation with this date. Moreover, they say that the actions will be extremely aggressive.
· Our actions have never had a sanguinary character. All I can say is that the actions will be held in the whole Crimea.
· Can it turn out to be that you are manipulated in a game that the Crimean Tatars do not even suspect? You get no result from meetings except for negative effect on the Russian population.
· Unfortunately, all we have achieved is due to our active actions. For example, had not there been samozahvats* in 1990-1993, most Crimean Tatars would not have been able to come back to their native land.
· The Prime Minister of the Crimea, Sergey Kunitsyn, has recently stated that they would possibly reconsider the land division in the Crimea, taking into account the Crimean Tatars' interests. Do not you expect that it will cause a social explosion?
· The matter is that nearly 70% of our nation lives in the rural zone. Why haven't they become the members of CAE**? It's another issue. They were not accepted in some cases, others were looking for job in some other places. The Crimean Tatars did no t settle down in villages just because they wished so. Even engineers did not have enough money to buy an apartment in a city. As a result, if 30% of the Crimean Tatars in Middle Asia lived in the rural zone and 70% lived in the urban zone, then it's vice versa in the Crimea. Now, in accordance with the law, the land is divided among the members of CAE. And we are given the land from the reserve fund. This land is mostly unsuitable for agriculture. Speaking of social explosion, it is yet worth thinking whose dissatisfaction is grounded deeper. It is the business of political figures who have forgotten about the returning nation and have adopted an imperfect law. The peace in the Crimea should no t be based on the violation of the Crimean Tatars' rights.
· Is Mejlis still an unlawful organization?
· We are not an organization. Mejlis is an electoral representative organ of the Crimean Tatar nation. National Parliament, if you wish. True, it has not been acknowledged by the law. The state proposes us to register as a public-and-political party , let's say, as the Society of Beer Fonder. We will not do that.
· They say that the money allocated to the Crimean Tatars from the state budget is kept by Mejlis because it is easier to operate with a nation when its representatives have no much money.
· First, Mejlis is kept on the money of our compatriots and Diaspora in other countries. Secondly, the state organs control all the allocated money. In particular, The State Committee of Nationalities does it. I mean that we would like not to control the money but to watch its distribution. There are some rumors now that Crimean Tatars have been allocated 320 million grivnas. But we have no idea where it is. It was distributed by the autonomy officials for the aims that bear no relation to the Crimean Tatars' problems.
· Have Crimean Tatars been taken on in the Chechenian war?
· This information is not absolutely correct. I know some of our people who left voluntarily for Chechnya during the previous war. But Djohar Dudayev's position was strict then: the Chechnians, first of all, had to give up their lives for the native land. And the Crimean Tatars just guarded Dudayev. True, when the Russian army was attacking the Palace in Groznoye, Crimean Tatars had to take part in military actions. Some of them were wounded but every one of them is safe and in the Crimea now. I want to emphasize the following: there has never been a single Crimean Tatar among mercenaries fighting in Chechnya for the sake of money.
· And what about fighting without money?
· I don't rule out such cases during the current war, but the Crimean Tatars' battalion, mentioned in Dorenko's*** program is nothing but a lie. The Chechens thank us for some other things - moral help and support to refugees who happened to come to the Crimea.
· Are there many of them?
· There were about a hundred registered by Mejlis.
· Are they peaceful people?
· Mostly women and children. We have recently received a request from Moscow Center of the Deported Nations to accommodate 300 Chechen children in the Crimean Tatar families after they have spent some time in Evpatorya health resorts.
· Some information agencies say that Chechen commanders buy immovable property in the Crimea.
· It's not true. SSU**** has refuted this information.
· Have you been to Chechnya?
· Only once. I was present at Aslan Maskhadov inauguration. I met Basayev and Yandarbiyev there. I saw Yandarbiyev a week ago in Istanbul. We discussed the situation in the Crimea. I tried to explain to him that measures had to be adequate to the consequences. I know these NATO principles very well. I had a chance to visit Brussels headquarters of NATO.
· And what did you do there?
I was invited to the briefing of European countries ambassadors dealing with the Crimean Tatars' problems. They understand that Mejlis, despite of all its authority, won't be able to keep its compatriots from undertaking any actions should the Crimean Tatars' rights be ignored. We can't call the nation to calm down, if non-violent methods have no result.
From "KP" file.
There are about 3 million Crimean Tatars living in the world. The biggest Diaspora lives in Turkey (2 million people). There are about half a million Crimean Tatars living in former Soviet countries. 270 thousand Crimean Tatars live in the Crimea.
Their main demands:
1. Official recognition of Mejilis as an official representative organ of the Crimean Tatar nation.
2. Restoration of the national territorial autonomy.
3. Adopting the law about the Crimean Tatar nation's status in Ukraine, in which they guarantee to respect the rights of the Crimean Tatars.
4. Distribution of land among the Crimean Tatars equally with CAE members.
Andrey Konovalov, Anna Salivanova, Gayana Yuksel, Alexey Khozlinov, "Komsomolskaya Pravda v Ukraine", 49 (865/22275), 17 March 2000, p.14.
*The Crimean Tatars were compelled to invade vacant lands for construction, because the authorities had refused to give them any land.
**CAE - Collective Agriculture Enterprise.
***Sergey Dorenko - TV-journalist, has an authorial politics-and-analytical program on the Public Russian TV-channel.
****SSU - Security Service of Ukraine.
The problem of restoration of the deported rights restoration arose a long time ago. It's a pity, but the Crimean Tatar nation's status has not still been identified. The problem of their political rehabilitation also has not been solved.
Ukraine has acquired independence, and now it is on the way of integration into the European Community. Considerable part of the Crimean Tatars has returned to the Crimea. However, their accommodation in the Crimea, especially the solution of non-economic problems, i.e. which do not demand financial expenditures - political rehabilitation, subjectivity rights restoration, defining of the status and some other, related to the problems of social integration into the Ukrainian society - have been extremely delayed. Gaining of official status as a native nation will undermine propaganda-and-ideology stereotypes of the totalitarian past on the one hand and will not give any privileged position to the Crimean Tatars on the other hand. Historically grounded and fair definition - "native nations" for the Crimean Tatars, Karaits, Krymchaks* is the solution of culture problem with an aim to restore and strengthen analogous institutes. The defining of the legal status will be undoubtedly a factor that strengthens the stability in the region and the country. It will promote the image of the country because the world community will accept it with understanding. Ukraine is in the clash between two cultures. It has a unique chance to be an exemplary socio-political sample that provides functioning of interethnic and interconfessional relationship. (This decision was signed by 36 non-government organizations of the Crimea).
Prepared by L.Alyadinova, "Golos Krima", #12 (331), 17 March 2000, p.1.
*Crimean Tatars, Karaits and Krimchaks are native dwellers of the Crimea.
"Soyuz" party declaration mentions the recent trip of NATO commanders around the Crimea (see "Crimean news 47"), their interest to scientific-and-technical elaborations, preparedness ‘to provide help in military actions' that cause neither emotions nor illusions.
We are troubled by the successful acquiring of NATO double standards by Ukrainian authortities. Declaration of polyvectoral foreign policy brings humiliating role of "everyone's garden". The dynamics of development in cooperation between Ukraine and NATO indicates its leadership's intention to overcome the recognized negative attitude toward NATO.
Unlike the ruling elite, waiting for the reward, the nation knows that whip is kept for them. That is why no elite can decide the destiny of the nation. As the declaration emphasizes, 'We are sure that the question: where should Ukraine go - to NATO or Byelorussia-and-Russia Union, should necessarily be solved on the referendum.'
V.Vasilyev, "Krimskaya Pravda", #40 (22459), 14 March 2000, p.1.
*Crimean party unites Pro-Russian citizens of the peninsula.
On 8 May 1995 the President's of Ukraine Decree was adopted. It was "About the order of land division, given to the collective property of agriculture enterprises." So, the whole land had been divided among village dwellers by the end of 1999. However, about 40% of the Crimean Tatars had been living in the Crimea by that time.
On 24 May 1999 the head of Ministry Council of the Crimea, Sergey Kunitsin, adopted the Resolution #182. The article 3 of that resolution states "Republic Committee of land reserves has to solve the problem of giving land to the Crimean Tatars living in the rural zone. These land plots have to be of an average plot size of a CAE member."
Everything seems to be clear. But in reality, it was much more complicated. The land (about 90%) has already been distributed. Besides, an average plot in different regions was different and varied from 1 hectare up to 18.
An example of CAE Urozhaynoye in Simferopol district will show how the Resolution #182 was implemented and how it effected Crimean Tatars. On February 24 they held a meeting, which clearly showed how unfairly the land division was implemented.
The population of Urozhaynoye village is 2500. 538 of them have been given land. 700 dwellers of the village are the Crimean Tatars and only 60 of them have got land plots.
The Crimea Tatars were forcefully exiled from native lands and worked in kolkhozes of the huge country for 50 years. Having come back to the native land, they have no rights to get land plots just because they are not CAE members. Unsurprisingly, they demand their plots, their land that their fathers and grandfathers have worked up. They demand that the problem of re-division should be reconsidered. But local administration says "No!" and gives no positive ways out. There are some reserve lands left after the land division. But this land is not of the best quality and mostly unsuitable for agriculture.
Leylya Alyadinova, "Golos Krima", #12 (331), 17 March 2000, p.2.
Mamedi Sohtayev is a working group representative of the Crimean Tatar nation's Mejlis that deals with land issues. He is sure that the President's Decree about land reform does not solve all the problems of land issue, including the problems of the deported. It is a well-known fact that most of them were not the citizens of Ukraine and were not the members of CAE by the time of land division. And the Decree demands these conditions. As a result, most of the Crimean Tatars living in the rural zone (87%) are left without any land plots. The land problem has not been solved in this context for more than three years. Each leader has to solve it in his district personally.
Mustafa Djemilev thinks that local authorities will proceed sabotaging the problem of giving land to the Crimean Tatars because of lack of desire to solve it. "Frankly speaking, I predict a great tension in this regard. Knowing the chauvinist character of many administrations I think that introducing additions to the President's Decree is the only way out. We have addressed the President with this problem for several times. The majority of the Crimean Tatars living in the rural zone cannot participate in the land division and have their own land plots. There is no need in re-division in some districts with abundance of land. We do not speak about some special privileges and advantages. We only want everyone to have equal opportunities. Moreover, using the land reserve cannot solve this problem. There are still many Crimean Tatars living in the places of exile and we have to reserve land for them".
Lentara Halilova, "Golos Krima", #12 (331), 17 March 2000, p.1.