May 26, 2009

Resolution of the Crimean Tatars

The resolution of the All-Crimean Mourning Meeting commemorating the victims of the genocide of the Crimean Tatar people.
65 years ago, on May 18, 1944 the Communist regime of the USSR conducted a total deportation of the Crimean Tatar people from their historical native land. Unprecedented in its substance and cruelty, this crime against the whole nation deported to the remote regions of the Central Asia, Siberia and Urals had as a goal the total elimination of the Crimean Tatar nation as an ethnicity.    

The inhumane conditions of the deportation regime, hunger, disease, and deprivations in the places of special settlements caused mass deaths among the Crimean Tatars, first and foremost amongst the elderly, women and children. During only the first years of the deportation, the Crimean Tatars lost nearly half of their population.

At the same time, the ruling regime of the former USSR was mass-replacing the Crimean peninsula with immigrants from various regions of the Russian Federation. Muslim cemeteries and Crimean Tatar architectural cultural history was demolished, books in Crimean Tatar - destroyed. All the historical city and village names of Crimea which had any connection to the language, past history or cultural identity of the Crimean Tatars were changed in their entirety

The forced detention of the Crimean Tatar nation in the places of deportation continued until the end of 1980s. The massive return of the people to their native land, which was made possible by the selfless struggle of the nation with the totalitarian regime, coincided with the collapse of the USSR, and with the establishment of the independent Ukrainian state. The determined and consistent support by Crimean Tatars of Ukrainian independence and its territorial integrity became the decisive factor in stopping, in the first half of the 1990s, the domination of separatist tendencies in Crimea, and in weakening the activities of the Russian political agents aiming at the secession of the peninsula.

However, the Ukrainian state, throughout the years of its independence, has not passed a single legal act that would facilitate the restoration of the political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Crimean Tatar people, which has been the reason for the actual inequality and discrimination of the Crimean Tatars.

Some outrageous examples of the explicit ignoring of Crimean Tatar rights by state authorities in Ukraine are the following:
- the persistent non-ratification of Ukrainian laws aiming to fully restore the rights of the Crimean Tatar nation, including its inalienable right to national-territorial autonomy within the borders of Ukraine,
- continued reluctance to facilitate the return of the tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars still remaining in places of deportation,
- deliberate delaying of a just solution to the issue of providing land plots for construction to Crimean Tatars,
- firm resistance to the restoration of historical toponyms in Crimea that are inextricably tied to the historical memory of the Crimean Tatar people,
- lack of strong measures on the state’s side to create a network of primary and secondary schools with instruction and education in the Crimean Tatar language, and to supply them with the necessary teaching materials and methodology.

Such an attitude of the state towards the Crimean Tatar people cannot but cause frustration and resentment in Crimean Tatars. For us, the participants of the All-Crimean mourning meeting, it is obvious that overcoming the consequences of the genocide committed against the Crimean Tatars by the Communist regime on May 18, 1944, and during the decades that followed in the places of deportation, cannot be accomplished by the efforts of Ukraine alone. Support in reviving the Crimean Tatar people should become the subject of special attention and care of the UN, the Council of Europe, the EU, and other international institutions.

The participants of the all-Crimean morning meeting, aiming to see the establishment of a truly democratic society in Ukraine, and the assertion of the generally accepted rights of nations and human rights in Ukraine as a necessary condition for the further integration of Ukraine into international and European institutions, call upon the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the European Union and other international organizations to do everything possible to restore the rights of the Crimean Tatar people.  

Accepted by the participants of the all-Crimean mourning meeting
commemorating the victims of the genocide against the Crimean Tatar people -
the deportation of 18 May 1944, and the decades of forced detentions in the places of deportation,
18 May 2009, Simferopol