February 25, 2005

Crimean Tatars: Land Conflict Looms in Ukraine's Crimea

The Crimean Tatar ethnic assembly has once again brought up the pressing issue - Crimean Tatars should be permitted to settle on the Crimea's south coast and receive land plots there
Untitled Document
A wave of conflicts over land is about to flood the Crimean peninsula soon. The Crimean Tatar Majlis ethnic assembly has once again brought up the pressing issue - Crimean Tatars should be permitted to settle on the Crimea's south coast and receive land plots there. Crimean Tatars were forbidden to resettle on the Crimean south coast, an expensive resort area, when they returned from exile en masse in 1990s.

At an extended Majlis session, leaders said that they would do their utmost to help landless Crimean Tatars occupy land plots [without permission] if the new Ukrainian leadership does not address their problems and start redistributing land which has been, as the Majlis say, illegally sold to Ukrainian and foreign businessmen and officials.

Correspondent Oleksina Dorohan: The authorities are still ignoring the land rights of Crimean Tatars who were deported from their homes on Crimea's south coast, Majlis members believe. The Majlis hopes, however, that the new Ukrainian president,Viktor Yushchenko, will change the situation for the better.

The Majlis leader Mustafa Dzhemilyev, speaking over a phone line: All illegal deals on the sale and allocation of land plots to top government officials of Russia and Ukraine should be revised. Strictly speaking, this is Yushchenko's strategy. If this strategy could be pursued, then everything will be alright. Firstly, the problem of Tykha Bukhta should be resolved. They (authorities) have been promising to resolve the problem and allow Crimean Tatars to settle there for a long time, for over a year now. Then, land plots in Simeyiz and Massandra on the south coast of Crimea should be allocated to Crimean Tatars.

Correspondent: The Crimean parliament speaker, Borys Deych, says that he had already discussed the land problem with Yushchenko. So far, Crimean authorities refuse to comment on the situation with land plots mentioned by Dzhemilyev. But they say that yesterday (21 February) a working group was created in the Crimean parliament. The members have already started working on the problem of Crimea's south coast.

Passage omitted: Deych says that Crimean cabinet is trying to solve the problem.

 

Source: BBC Monitoring Service