Tatarstan: Use of Latin Alphabet in Tatarstan would be Unconstitutional
The Constitution and the law on the languages of the peoples of the Russian Federation permit each people within the Federation to choose its state language. However, it is only a federal bill that can determine the graphic basis of a language, Mikhail Mityukov, the Russian president’s envoy, said in the court “The transition to a different alphabet is possible, but this requires adopting a new federal bill that must take into account the interests of all Russian citizens”, he said.
The fact that these interests are not taken into consideration by the authors of the reform is seen from the letter of more than 30 people from among ethnic Tatars who are prominent in culture, sports, and science in the Russian Federation. Their letter was published in Rossiiskaya Gazeta. They ask questions as to who, when and on what funds will be retraining in the use of the Latin alphabet all the Tatars living outside the republic, who make up 80 percent of Russia’s Tatars.
Yelena Mizulina, representative of the State Duma lower house of parliament in the Constitutional Court, assessing the debate between those who are for the Cyrillic alphabet and those who are for the Latin one from the juridical viewpoint, said this is an invented problem. The law on the languages of the peoples of Russia, questioned by Tatarstan’s representatives, that establishes the Cyrillic alphabet as the graphic basis of the language is fully in keeping with the Constitution as it aims at preserving the cultural, economic and, in the long run, territorial integrity of the country, Mizulina holds.
This has been recognized indirectly even by the authors of the request. The case heard by the Constitutional Court is “the echo of the early 90s when the republics were striving to take as much sovereignty as possible”, Farid Mukhametshin, the head of the State Council of Tatarstan, said. Still, he said that the use of either the Latin alphabet or the Cyrillic one, in the Tatar language has both advantages and drawbacks.
Having heard the opinions of the sides, the court will concentrate
on drawing up the decision
Source Itar Tass