Oct 09, 2018

Beyond Geopolitics: Why Does the Crimean Tatars Case Matter?

Beyond Geopolitics: Why Does the Crimean Tatars Case Matter?

9 October 2018

09:30 -12:30

European Parliament, Brussels

Room ASP 6D 128, Library Section

You can find the final programme here

Since 2014, the Crimean Peninsula has been occupied and directly administered by the Russian Federation, an act that the EU as well as a large part of the international community consider to be illegal. From 1991 until this event, Crimea had secured itself a degree of autonomy, and the Crimean Tatars in particular had made great strides towards seeing their minority rights protected and the mass deportations they had suffered at the end of the Second World War recognised. Crimean Tatars are a Turkic, Sunni Muslim ethnic group who have been living in the Peninsula since the 13th century, but have since faced a spate of invasions, deportations and restrictions on their cultural rights due to the peninsula’s strategic importance.

Following Russia’s illegal annexation, the situation of the Tatar community has quickly worsened, with repression targeting not only the political autonomy of their traditional institutions such as the Mejlis and Qurultay, which have been closed and banned, but also religious freedom, as well as linguistic and cultural rights. This has led to an increased wave of activism by the Crimean Tatars to defend their cultural and political rights, to which in turn Russia has responded by shutting down many Tatar-speaking media outlets. Several UN OCHR and OSCE reports have also exposed grave human rights violations by Russian authorities against Tatar political activists, including internment without trial and deportation to mainland Russia, unwarranted house searches and land appropriation.

Additionally, given the restrictions imposed the Tatar language and cultural expressions, as well as on traditional celebrations such as the anniversary of the deportation of the 1940s, children are less and less exposed to their ancestral culture, which in the long term, should the situation not improve rapidly, could affect the identity of a community that has already suffered a lot in the 20th century.

In view of the very concerning situation, the UNPO and Promote Ukraine are organising two events:

  • A Conference at the European Parliament to raise awareness of the situation in Crimea, of the human rights violations by the Russian occupation authorities, as well as prospects for the future and the role of the EU. This event will have a particular focus on the situation of children and women from the community;
  • A cultural event at the Press Club Brussels, in the afternoon of the same day, which will display and celebrate the richness of the Crimean Tatar culture and the uniqueness of this Turkic population. The event will include a reception with Crimean Tatar food, traditional music, as well as (to be confirmed) a performance by a famous Crimean Tatar singer.


Registration is now closed for this event

 For further information please send us a message with your name and organization to [email protected].