Crimean peninsula dwellers have had an opportunity to observe the establishment of monumental constructions like the symbol of Orthodox - the worship cross - in many towns, villages and often just along the roads of Crimea.
Such a wide-scale campaign is motivated by the significant Christian holiday - the 2000th anniversary of Christ's birth. In accordance with the Constitution, Ukraine is a secular country, its government must not give a spur to the dominants of one religion over others. Establishment of crosses everywhere in Crimea is taken by representatives of other confessions as an attempt to thrust their religious ideology on them. This was the reason for Crimean Mufti's leave from the Inter-confessional council "Peace is the God's gift" in July, 2000. But disputes continued.
On December 21, 1999, the executive committee of Kapskhor (Morskoye) village council passed a decision to establish a memorial cross in honor of the 2000th anniversary of Christ's birth. On October 25, 2000, a nine-meter long cross was established at noon on the Kamatra mount near village Kapskhor. It was dismantled at 5 p.m. That is how the opposition of one village residents began.
On October 26, they held a meeting there. It accounted for 400 representatives of different confessions. They elected representatives from Moslem and Christian religious communities to prepare an address to the session of village council for resolving this conflict.
On October 30, they held a widened session of the village council. The address from the Moslem community of Kapskhor village was promulgated. It, in particular, says that "the cross established on the Kamatra mount is nothing but a way to cause the fall out of religious people, and a wish to emphasize one religion but neglect the other and ultimately, using peoples' poor knowledge of religion make a kind of enemies from them. This is used to demonstrate that Crimea is the cradle of Orthodox church… The Cross must be put over the temple".
Moslem community has addressed to the village council asking to cancel the decision to establish the cross on the Kamatra mount, calling to solve religious problems together in order to avoid this kind of problems in the future. It believes that it is necessary to put forward this issue to the discussion of Crimean Mufti*** and Crimean eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox church of Moscow patriarchy****.
Later, father Valentine read an address on the behalf of orthodox community, proposing a compromise variant - to establish a symbol of Moslem religion next to the cross.
Speeches, made in the course of the session were of different character. They stated that people who had dismantled the cross caused a considerable impact on feelings of Christians. Others blamed Mejlis for all that happed. Some people demanded that the guilty should be strictly punished. And still, there were some people calling for peaces and agreement.
The village council session has decided to temporarily stop the previous decision until November 20 and find a compromise on this issue.
Leylya Alyadinova, "Golos Kryma" ("The Voice of Crimea"), #45 (364), 3 November 2000, p.1.
Our information: * See "Crimean news 67" on this issue.
**Kapskhor village (currently - Morskoye) is located near Sudak.
***Organization that unites the Crimean Moslems.
****Organization that unites the Orthodox Christians of Crimea and that is under the command of Moscow patriarchy.
Outrage upon memorials and sacred places still continues. We start to believe that someone kindles interethnic opposition on a religious ground on purpose.
The Orthodox Christians have lost their sacred thing in Kirovskoye: a wooden Worship cross has been stolen. It is not possible to name the thief now due to lack of evidence.
Though this is not the only example of destroying a sacred place: unknown bandits broke 11 grave memorials in a Moslem graveyard a couple of weeks ago. A week later, someone spilt a car oil on a stone sign, established near the train station. Authorities are planning to build a memorial devoted to the victims of deportation near this train station.
Criminal cases have been brought against the bandits that caused the above-mentioned facts.
Svetlana Sergiyenko, "Krymskaya Pravda" ("The Crimean Truth"), #202 (226165), 3 November 2000, p.1.
On October 31, a meeting devoted to the interethnic situation in Morskoye village was held in the Council of Ministers of Crimea.
The meeting conference participants have reached a mutual agreement that was necessary to solve interethnic problems by means of law, by respecting current legislation and peoples' religious traditions. They also stated that it was necessary to find compromise solutions when necessary.
As to the problem of a practical way out in village Morskoye, Simferopol and Crimean archbishop Lazar* and the Mufti** of Crimean Moslems have reached a mutual agreement that it was necessary to call people to keep calm and prevent extremist actions. They will have to work out a decision (with participating of Crimean state power representatives) that would take into account all the Crimean peoples' traditions in order to avoid further flouting of sacred places.
"Krymskoye vremya" ("The Crimean times"), #205 (1072), 3 November 2000, p.3.
Our information: *The head of Orthodox Christians of Crimea.
**The head of Moslems of Crimea.
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has considered the governmental law draft "About rehabilitation and providing rights to the national minorities that were deported from Ukraine". It determines Ukraine's responsibility for providing rights of above-mentioned people.
The project proposes to rehabilitate all of these people and consider all the deportation documents as unlawful. The document blames the actions of state organs of former USSR which caused deportation of the Bulgarians, Armenians, Greeks, Crimean Tatars, Germans, Polishes, Romanians and Hungarians from Ukraine.
Those who were deported from Ukraine are given a right to return to the places they lived before being deported.
The deportees will have an opportunity to take part in the state-enterprise privatization consistent with the law that will be asserted by the Cabinet of Ministers.
The document envisages compensations for the losses they experienced during deportation.
In accordance with the law about State budget-2000, 40 million grivnas have been envisaged for this purpose. And a major part of that money is directed at measures related to the returning of the Crimean Tatars to Ukraine.
Interfax-Ukraine, "Krymskiye Izvestiya" ("The Crimean News"), #204 (2208), 3 November 2000, p.2.
According to the data provided by the Crimean statistics administration, the population of Crimea (excluding Sevastopol) for October 1 made up 2104,1 thousand people. The number is by 13,6 thousand smaller than it was nine months ago. And the death-rate has reached an unbelievable number - 77,2%. The rest of people have left Crimea for various reasons.
The birth-rate has remained on the last-year level - 7,2 children for a thousand of dwellers during the period from January to September. And the death-rate has increased from 12,5 to 13,8 thousand people.
I.Kravchenko, "Krymskaya Pravda" ("The Crimean truth"), #199 (22612), 31 November 2000, p.2.
The history of Crimean Tatar culture, depicted in the biographies of writers and poets of different times is introduced in the book entitled "Kyrymtatar edepleri". The collection - the result of a many-year work done by the writer Zakir Kurtnezit - includes information about lives and activities of 134 literature activists.
The book begins with the names of poets -Kefeliy, who lived on the threshold of the 10th and 11th centuries, Mahmud Kyrymly (13th century), Gazaiy (16th century)… Big gaps of time between them are empty. Their ancestors will make a full research about all the rest of writers and poets in the future. The book finishes with the names of contemporary writers and poets.
The collection includes the names of not only writers and poets but journalists, i.e. those who have contributed to development of the Crimean Tatar literature.
This is the first time such a collection of Crimean Tatar literature has been released. And it is not only aimed for students but for a wide range of readers as well.
Gulnara Useinova, "Golos Kryma" ("The Voice of Crimea"), #45 (364), 3 November 2000, p.3.
A seminar devoted to the Crimean Tatar national schools' principals was held in Bulganak Crimean Tatar national school on October 7-8. The principal of Bulganak (currently Kolchugino) national school, Seitdzhemil Ibraimov came out with information about his school.
After speeches school principals shared their opinions and discussed the issues of education.
The Club of school principals has recently been created for providing help to national schools in resolving administrative problems. One of the main Club's goals is to develop advices and recommendations of organization in the field of studying process, and bringing-up process for national schools.
This seminar was held owing to the material help of non-governmental organization "Renaissance of Crimea" and its leader - Lyutfi Osmanov.
They are planning to hold similar seminar for the assistants of school principals. It will take place in Karasubazar (currently Belogorsk) Crimean Tatar national school.
N.Reshitov, "Kyrym" ("The Crimea"), #49 (597), 4 November 2000, p.8.