03-05-2019

Crimean Tatars: ‘Religious persecution made us stronger and more united’

ARUUKE URAN KYZY

TRT World, Ar 19, 2019

Russia has been targeting the Tatars with illegal detentions and other threats, even forcing them out of Crimea, but the ethnic minority refuses to accept Moscow's sovereignty.

Soon after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014, Moscow launched a crackdown against the region's Turkic Muslim minority called the Tatars.

While the EU raised concerns over the ‘illegal’ detentions of Tatars in the seized region, the Russian aggression against this community is not a new phenomenon. Imperial Russia was almost always hostile toward the Tatars and when Catherine II toppled the Crimean Khanate in 1783, the community was exposed to systemic oppression. A century later, the brutality against Tatars intensified as Joseph Stalin led the erstwhile Soviet Union.

Ever since Tatars have been at the receiving end of oppression.

“Today Russia is doing pretty much the same thing, but in slow and poisonous motion,” said Riza Shevkiyev, head of the Crimea Fund, the Mejlis’s financial wing. Mejlis is the autonomous governing body of Crimean Tatars founded after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has played an active part in Ukrainian national politics but was outlawed by Russia after it occupied and seized control of the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

For full story go to: https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/crimean-tatars-religious-persecution-made-us-more-strong-and-united-26007

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