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World The anxiety of Crimean Tatars, exiles after annexation

17:20  28 september  2021
17:20  28 september  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  L'angoisse des Tatars de Crimée, exilés après l'annexion © AFP

i LS live in fear for their loved ones and struggle to preserve their culture. The Tatars of Crimea having fled the Russian annexation of this Ukrainian peninsula endure every day the burden of exile.

In the eighteenth century as under Stalin , the Russian power "did everything for our people to cease to exist, accuses Roustem Skybine, a renowned ceramist and active member of the Diaspora Tareare in Kiev.

The story repeats itself, according to this man of 45 born in Uzbekistan during the forced exile of the Tatars in the Soviet era. Because since the annexation of 2014, Moscow leads a "repression" policy against this Muslim ethnic group to the Turkish language, he says, because it is predominantly opposed to the Russian guardianship.

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Some 90 of his compatriots are currently incarcerated, while tens of thousands of others preferred, like him, exile in Ukraine mainland.

The last shock, at the beginning of September, was the arrest of Nariman Djelial, respected political scientist and deputy head of the Medjlis, traditional assembly of Tatars considered a "terrorist organization" by the Russia .

It is accused of "sabotage" of a gas pipecaval supplying a Russian military base. A case rising from all parts, according to its supports and Kiev, while the Russian secret services (FSB) diffused, on television of the conflicts supposed.

"This is a significant act of the occupants" to intimidate all activists Tatars, "our movement has been decapitated," esteem Aloud Aliev, 33, co-founder in Kiev of the Crimean NGO SOS.

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"My biggest fear is for my relatives" stayed on the peninsula, continues the young man, also noting that the Tatars who "continue to go to Crimea are afraid to speak publicly".

Because when Moscow attached the peninsula, in the wake of a pro-western Revolution in Kiev, the Tatars were massively opposed to the return to the Russian giron.

But between the repression, a referendum of attachment to Russia and the deployment of the Russian forces, their voices were quickly gagged.

The Tatars who chose Russia ensure that no repression targeted the community, when Moscow says only targeting "extremists" and "terrorists".

"It is necessary to dive into the atmosphere of the Russian Crimea to understand that there is in harmony a multiethnic company," said early September to the agency RIA Novosti the head of a cultural organization TATARE, EIVAZ OUMEROV.

Nevertheless, some 30,000 tatars, more than 10% of the community, went to other regions of Ukraine, often representatives of the elite.

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"It was a real brain drain, from the most active part: students, businessmen, activists," says Aliev.

"We will come back to"

what to rekindle the memory of the 1944 mass distortion deportations. For the ceramist, Mr. Skybine, in 2014, "we felt what our grandparents told us".

Expanded by these historic dramas, this community has developed cultural and linguistic resilience. But in the absence of teaching schools in Tatar, families face a challenge.

"I do not even know how the children of five or seven years will learn our language," admits Eskender Boudjourov, a 61-year-old restaurateur, even if first free courses have been set up.

In the end, it is mainly in the family cell that cultural survival is organized.

The lack of mosques in a predominantly Christian orthodox country is offset by prayer rooms, although rites may vary, Ukraine with other Muslim minorities, including those from the Caucasus.

This year, the government for the first time released funds for the promotion of TATARE culture, welcomes Mr Skybine. And ethnic or religious tensions are fortunately almost non-existent.

"The Ukrainians can be cautious about Muslims. But when it comes to Crimea Tatars, they say + are our Muslims to us +," Mr. Aliev smiled.

The exiles always hope to always the end of the Russian "occupation" and be able to return to Crimea, as had their elders in the 1980s, in the last years of the USSR.

"Our grandparents and parents waited 70 years before you can come back," says Skybine Roustem. "We will come back, too."

28/09/2021 12:23:06 - Kiev (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

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