Crimean Tatars Look Warmly at EU Membership
The Crimean Tatars National Assembly President and Ukrainian Deputy Mustafa Abdulcemil Kirimoglu expressed that he did not find the threat of a civil war after the debated elections realistic. Determining that Crimean Tatars had supported reformist Our Ukraine Party Leader Victor Yuschenko in the elections, Kirimoglu also warned that some incidents could occur in some regions of the country. He also emphasized that Russian President Vladimir Putin did not have a civil war policy and added that some powers around Putin would work to provide such a policy.
Kirimoglu answered our questions about the post election developments and position of the Crimean Tatars in his house in Bahcesaray, which was the capital of the Former Crimean Sultanate. He evaluated the realization of the pro-Yuschenko demonstrations that continued for many days as the most significant development in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Block. Kirimoglu determined the reaction of the Ukrainian public saying: "This was a surprise. Nobody expected such a thing. The public realized their existence."
Determining that Yanukovych was supported by communists, Slavic nationalists and pro-former Soviets and had been using state assets for his own success by violating them in the first elections, the Tatar leader clarified that they had supported Yuschenko in the elections. Kirimoglu also indicated that whereas 15 percent of the votes in the Crimean regions had been cast for Yushchenko, 90 percent of the Crimean Tatars had voted for the 'orange' reformist leader. "If we had known that Yushchenko would lose, we would still vote for him again", said Kirimoglu, calling the new president "a democratic figure" and adding that they would negotiate with Yushchenko in the new period and their expectations were very high.