On July 14, the meeting of Christian children fund director (CCD, Geneva) Muriel Chatman, director of programs in Eastern Europe CCD Sergey Tsigankov, university professor of Sidit city (Croatia) Nives Iveliya, CCD programs coordinator (Kyiv) Irina Zvereva was held in the office of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people.
First of all, the meeting participants were introduced with activity of Christian children fund. It was emphasized that meetings with Mejlis representatives, different funds and non-governmental organizations in Crimea had an introductory meaning. Basing on their analysis, they will develop some CCD programs for implementing in Crimea. They gave an example of CCD collaboration with non-governmental organizations in Albany, where they developed programs of upbringing social officials in the environment of repatriates, programs of parental care. Moreover, they provide psychological help to refugees and emigrants.
Guests were introduced with the activity of Mejlis, political and economical situation in Crimea. At the end, they expressed their mutual consent on collaboration.
"Avdet", ("Returning"), #14 (248), 18 July 2000, p.1.
Representative of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people in Uzbekistan, Ali Khamzin, visited the embassy of Ukraine. The meetings were basically devoted to the problem of paying state duty for the passport of a citizen of Ukraine for living abroad. The Crimean Tatars, who have corroborated of their belonging to the Ukrainian citizenship, continue getting these passports. The value of state duty summed up with consul duty equals 35000 soums. Taking into consideration that the minimal salary in Uzbekistan is 1750 soums, the passport of a citizen of Ukraine is practically accessible to no one.
"Avdet" ("Returning"), #14 (248), 18 July 2000, p.1.
Our information: *Soum is a national monetary unit of Uzbekistan.
Our commentaries: Most Crimean Tatars, living in Uzbekistan have used the Uzbekistan-and-Ukrainian Agreement about the simplified procedure of giving up the citizenship of Uzbekistan and getting the Ukrainian one, which expired on 31 December 1999. However, due to some reasons, many of them still can not return to Crimea and are compelled to stay in Uzbekistan. In result, they have a lot of problems such as drawing up a foreign passport for living in Ukraine and many other things, which they can not afford due to their extremely hard socio-economic condition.
Moslem ecclesiastic administration of Crimea (MEAC) stated that it had temporarily stopped its activity in confessional union of Crimea - "World is a gift of God". This decision was caused by a feigned aggravation of confessional relations between citizens of Ukraine belonging to different faiths. The aggravation is caused by the Crimean eparchy.
"Crimean dwellers have recently started noticing in some cities of Crimea some monuments in the form of one of the Orthodox branches of Christianity - patriarchy cross, and boards on roads saying: "Crimea is the cradle of Orthodox". They are preparing for construction of synod Orthodox Church of Moscow patriarchy on the central square of Simferopol. The initiator of these actions is archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea Lazar**",- says the statement.
MEAC demanded that this unlawful mounting of religious monuments and boards on the territory of Ukraine should be stopped. They also demanded that the monuments and boards that had been mounted should be dismantled and the state power should take some extreme measures on preventing misbalance in his religious policy.
As the press-center of Simferopol and Crimea eparchy informs, mounting of "transparencies with ecclesiastic contents" is implemented under the program of celebrating the 2000th anniversary of Christ's Birth by the blessing of archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea, Lazar. Unusual form of missioner activity is directed to "ecclesiastic-and-moral upbringing of population and especially the youth".
Mufti*** of the Crimean Moslems, Hadji Emirali-efendi comments the situation as follows:
The statement, adopted by the Ecclesiastic administration of Crimean Moslems reflects the general mood of the Crimean Tatar people. We adopted this statement after numerous addresses of Moslems, living in Crimea, who are indignant at unlawful mounting of Christian symbolic beyond the territory of Christian religious construction. Unconsidered decision of the archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea, Lazar, can lead to unpredictable consequences. Being the chairman of confessional union "World is a gift of God", the patriarch didn't say a single world on any sittings of the union that he intended to mount crosses and boards everywhere in Crimea in honor of the 2000th Christ's Birth. What was this organization created for if they take into consideration the interests of only Christian confession?
Encouraging the construction of orthodox churches, Crimean leadership helps the process of a complete destroying of Moslem memorials of history and architecture. For instance, in Kirovskiy district****, district public prosecutor made a decision to stop construction of mosque, referring to the lack of money for that purpose. There were more than 1500 mosques in Crimea before the deportation*****. Today there are no more than 50 mosques in Crimea, which doesn't satisfy needs of believers.
The Crimean Tatars try to restore their religious establishments using their own money. They get a great deal of help from charity funds located in the counties of Arabian Peninsula and Turkey. As far as the state is concerned, it doesn't help at all. On the contrary it even prevents this process. Crimean Moslems have been unable to get a land plot for constructing a synod mosque for one year. They are compelled to conduct public prayers in the Culture Houses and pay for their rents. We need a synod mosque but we have received answers that there was no free land for that purpose.
Most ancient mosques are in a very bad condition and are used on some other purpose. The territory of Zyndjirli Medrese******, which is the memorial of 15th century architecture is used as psycho neurological dispensers..."
Avdet "("Returning"), #14 (248), 18 July 2000, p.2.
Our information: *Hadji is a Moslem person, who has made pilgrimage to Mecca.
**Simferopol and Crimea Lazar is the head of Crimea orthodox Christians.
***Mufti is the Crimean head of Moslems.
****One of the districts in Crimea.
*****In 1994 Crimean Tatars were deported from the Crimea.
******Zydjirli Medrese is a former ancient educational establishment of Crimea.
The plan of measurements on solving Crimean Tatars' problems was discussed at the meeting of a Regular Representative of the President in Crimea Anatoliy Korneyschuk with the council of the Crimean Tatar people's representatives at the President's administration.
Proposed plan includes actions on solving Crimean Tatars' problems in social and humanitarian sphere and also in problems dealing with health resort, education and satisfying needs of land plots.
Interfax-Ukraine, "Krimskiye Izvestiya", #132 (2136), 21 July 2000, p.2.
In the first decade of July they held a seminar on the problems of socio-psychological work with repatriates, refugees and migrants. Christian children fund was the seminar organizer.
"The place of seminar is not casual, -says the coordinator of the program of Christian children fund, Irina Zvereva. - Because it is here that mass migration processes concerned with returning of deported peoples to their homeland is happening. Refugees from dangerous countries also find shelter here". The seminar purpose was to develop the most suitable model of working with repatriates and refugees. The most important problems, discussed at the seminar were the problems of legislative character, touching refugees, repatriates, migrants and also the forms of providing social, psychological and consultative help to this category of citizens.
Repatriates, refugees, migrants come across not only economic difficulties but also unfriendly treatment and sometimes aggression from neighborhood. However, according to the professor of sociology Nikolay Shulga's words, in Ukraine conflicts between repatriates and power happen more often than with local population.
Esma Asanova, "Avdet", ("Returning"), #14 (248), 18 July 2000, p.2.
The visit of the first Vice President of Council of Europe, Parliament Assembly member, deputy of Swiss parliament, Ernst Muleman is devoted to preparing the visit of Swiss politicians and businessmen for studying investment opportunities in Crimea.
He informed that in October they would discuss opportunities to make investment in Ukraine. The main sphere of investment in Crimea will probably be tourism. He believes that Western Europe has to change its mentality on Ukraine and that is why he arrived in Crimea.
Interfax-Ukraine, "Krimskiye Izvestiya", #132 (2136), 21 July 2000, p.3.