Dec 15, 2017

Crimean Tatar: Radio Ukraine Brings News in Tatar to Peninsula

Photo Courtesy of Victoria Kupchinesky @Wikipedia Commons

Radio Ukraine recently announced an initiative to be launched by 2018 to bring Ukrainian news to Crimea by presenting news in Tatar. Currently the majority of the media available in Crimea is controlled by Russia and publish only in the Russian language, making it difficult for the Crimean Tatar minority on the peninsula to follow the news and maintain their ties to Ukraine. The State Broadcast Committee had also made efforts to provide Ukrainian-language media to Crimea, despite Russian control. Radio Ukraine points out that is important to support the Crimean population by providing them with information in their mother tongue in order to promote and protect Ukraine’s linguistic diversity.


The article below was published by BBC:

Ukraine plans to start broadcasting news in the Crimean Tatar language to the native population of the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed three years ago.

The state radio company's general producer Dmytro Khorkin said regular broadcasts should start next year. "These people, who are facing persecution for their nationality, religion, and political views, will be able to listen to broadcasts in their own language," he told the Crimean service of Radio Liberty.

Russian troops seized Ukraine's Crimean peninsula during the turmoil after the flight of pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

The Muslim Crimean Tatars, who make up about 12% of the population, enjoyed considerable cultural autonomy under Ukrainian rule, but Russia has since banned their Mejlis national council as an "extremist organisation".

Mr Khorkin said Radio Ukraine has been broadcasting in Russian to get its message across to the mainly Russian-speaking Crimea for the last three years, but now wants to recruit "presenters and announcers with a good knowledge of Tatar, as the language needs to be protected and encouraged".

He acknowledged that experienced Crimean Tatar broadcasters "are hard to find", but once they are in place Radio Ukraine will use Kherson Region, just north of Crimea, to broadcast analogue and digital radio coverage.

The State Broadcast Committee has been making determined efforts to boost Ukrainian-language television signals to Crimea over the last year [2017], and Dmytro Khorkin said regular medium-wave radio broadcasts are audible in parts of the peninsula after sunset, according to the Suspilne Movlennya media news portal.

The Russian authorities in Crimea have not yet reacted to Radio Ukraine's announcement, but Dmitry Poklonsky, the local official in charge of communications, told Russia's Sputnik website last week that "only Russian TV and radio will be broadcast to Crimea - all states have to take certain measures to defend their territory and information space".