Archives for posts with tag: crimea

18 of May has always been a mournful date for my family. On May 18th 1944 the entire Crimean Tatar nation has been brutally deported from our homeland. Today children and grandchildren of deportees still remember the way the Soviet authorities falsely insulted their families and deprived them of homes and motherland.

Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of deportation, which is a deplorable day itself, however the so-called Crimean authorities managed to add fuel by banning the annual demonstration. In Ukraine such mournful campaigns were perceived as  a consistent phenomenon, however Kremlin clearly showed disrespect to pain of Crimean Tatars.

Although, the demonstration was prohibited, some Crimean Tatars decided to disobey and gather to pray and discuss future of our nation, solution of existing problems and pay respect to thousands of deportation victims. This caused hundreds of Russian special forces and numerous armoured vehicles attempting ‘to protect’ people from Crimean Tatars. This is ridiculous, considering that every demonstration held by Crimean Tatars has always been VERY peaceful. However, Russian military helicopters tried to intimidate people by flying just over their heads.

After Putin’s soulful speech and adopting the law about rehabilitation of rights of Crimean Tatars, they act as if Crimean Tatars are criminals and surround us with Russian soldiers armed to teeth.

It is hard to make any speculations about evolution of the complex situation in multiethnic Crimea. With Crimean Tatars being 100% loyal to Ukraine and Russian authorities attempting to punish us for that, it is pretty obvious this is just a beginning.

 

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Guys sorry I haven’t posted for a while. Now I have something exciting to share with you. Considering recent events in Crimea, I try to cheer myself up a bit and get out of my comfort zone.

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Adile

Crimean Tatars Not Welcome In Crimea Any More?

Found this picture today… It fully describes how Crimean Tatars feel right now. Especially the elderly people.

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Crimean Tatars are often defined as Muslim minority in Crimea, significantly harassed by Soviet regime. Today, when the current situation in Ukraine is especially acute, Crimean Tatars, along with Ukrainians, Russians, and other ethnicities suffer. Euromaidan in Kyiv, despite being a heroic act of struggle against incompetent and felonious authorities, is a phenomena not considerably supported by Ukrainian citizens from Eastern and Southern regions. The main reason for that is Russian-speaking population’s growing concern about infringement of their language. As well that, Russian-based mass media, commonly available in Ukraine, have been fueling the rising uncertainty by deliberately distorting information coming from Kyiv.

The situation in Crimea is complex in particular because together with Slavic population here lives approximately 15% of Crimean Tatars, along with many other ethnicities. The number of ethnic conflicts that scarcely arose before are now increasing rapidly. The Pro-Russian followers have been opposed to supporters of Maidan (mostly Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians). Vigorous statements of certain parliamentarians have facilitated deterioration of the issue. While Crimea is being torn between Ukraine and Russia, Crimean Tatars’ well-being in their homeland is jeopardized again.

Crimean Tatars remember the days when annexation of Crimea to Russia in 1783 led to numerous deaths and exiles to Siberia. This fostered a massive immigration to Ottoman Empire. More than half of Crimean Tatar population was forced to leave their houses in order to save their lives.

During 1917-1933 a very significant number (almost 50%) of Crimean Tatars perished as a consequence of multiple man-made starvations.

In 1944 Crimean Tatars have been accused of treason. According to NKVD, the majority of Crimean Tatars were collaborating with Nazis. The charges have been proved wrong later, as prevailing number of Crimean Tatar men were loyal to Red Army, many served in Partisan Units. Overall, traitors among Crimean Tatars constitute only 1% of the entire number of those who betrayed the Red Army (among ethnicities of USSR). However, no one officially apologized for that crucial mistake and Crimean Tatars are still facing prejudice and ignorance expressed by many communists, Soviet worshipers and some Pro-Russian politicians.

This mistake subjected the entire nation to deportation from their home-country, Crimea. While Crimean Tatar men were fighting for Soviet Union, women, children and elderly people were conveyed to Siberia and remote districts of Uzbekistan. As NKVD reported, 80% of deportees were women and children.

Many died on the way, many perished because of diseases and starvations. The conditions they faced can only be compared to those of a concentration camp.

Crimean Tatars were only permitted to return from the exile during mid-1980s. The houses, they were driven out, were already occupied, so Crimean Tatars settled in outskirts and started to slowly recover.

After the massacre the Soviet regime caused to Crimean Tatars, the genocide is still not claimed. But what is astonishing, is that the monument of Lenin is still standing on the main square of Crimea. In Simferopol there is Mokrousova Street named ‘in honor’ of the head of Crimean Partisan Units, well-known racist who fostered extermination of Crimean Tatars. Despite all the harm caused by Soviet authorities, there are still representatives of Communist party sitting in Ukraine’s Parliament.

All of the facts, mentioned above, make a substantial reason for Crimean Tatar population to be preoccupied when Russian troops and armored vehicles are invading Crimea, when Russian soldiers armed to the teeth occupy Crimean Parliament, other government bodies and Simferopol Airport. Crimean Tatars do not have an alternative plan or place to escape, they only have one homeland – Crimea. Another disturbing fact is that Crimean Tatar language is endangered. Very few descendents of immigrants speak it these days. Even residents of Crimea speak more Russian, instead of native language.  This is another bitter result of Soviet oppressions.

The same scenario is repeating itself for the third time – Crimea is invaded, Crimean Tatars are either deported or forced to leave their homes once more. Human rights, freedom, democracy and no war threats – that is what we all deserve. And Crimean Tatars deserve it as well.

Pray for Ukraine and Crimea

Going to the next special and very beautiful place in Crimea, I would like to start by telling you guys a bit about Bakhchisaray.  The city was the old capital of Crimea and Crimean Tatars. And since I am Crimean Tatar (just google it), of course I feel like history of my nation is very close to me and particularly interesting. Although my great grandparents were from Yalta, I have this weird and strong deja vu about certain things and places in Bakhchisaray. So If you are looking for beautiful architecture, history and unique nature, definitely visit this lovely city.

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The Crimean Khan’s palace is now a museam of history and arts of Crimean Tatars.

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The most beautiful cemetery I have ever seen in my entire life is an ancient Karaite cemetery Balta Tiymez ( from Crimean Tatar ‘axe will not touch’). Karaites are amongst the native population of Crimea, their language is very similar to Crimean Tatar but the writing is Hebrew. Balta Tiymez has burials that date back to the 1st cent. BC, but you can also find more contemporary ones – from the 20th century. Overall this cemetery has approximately 10000 gravestones! Unfortunately, the cemetery was violated during the USSR period. After the Russian Revolution everything went from head to toes. So Balta Tiymez, like many other ancient graveyards suffered – brutal Bolsheviks would dig out the bodies looking for valuable jewellery. But unlike Karaite cemeteries many Crimean Tatar graveyards were not only violated, but distroyed. The reason –  after Crimean Tatar deportation to remote discricts of Uzbekistan and Syberia in 1944, USSR authorities tried to completely erase their presence n Crimea. Even the names of cities, villages, etc. were changed.

What I adore about Balta Tiymez is that unexpectadly it’s not very popular with tourists and since it’s located in the middle of the forest, the silence is magnificent there. I mean I personally feel very calm have an emotional boost when I am there because you just start thinking about life, so many people lying there, everyone had his own stories and secrets. A very sacramental place. Luckily it can be easily found. Looking through the pictures of it on the Internet, I realised that yes the ancient Karaite cemetery looks beautiful in the sunshine, but when it’s misty and rainy, it’s absolutely majestic. So if you are kinda of person, who likes silence, nature and reflection, you won’t regret visitting Balta Tiymez!

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After walking alot that day I needed some coffee So my aunt and I found a cute little coffee shop, which I fell in love with instantly! It looks just like an old Crimean Tatar home. It’s very traditional, everything there was very old and absolutely charming. I felt like I was travelling in a time machine!

This is another thing that I love about Bakhchisaray – all the restaurants and cafes, markets, streets, houses, museums have preserved this old Crimean Tatar vibe.

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Adile

As you guys have already guessed from the title, this post has nothing to do with makeup, fashion and other stuff I mostly write about. Instead, it is about my recent trip to beautiful Livadia Palace.

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Crimean peninsula is a beautiful place in the south of Ukraine. I love it during Spring and Summer time. Crimea has many special places, that tourists like to visit. For me these places are Bakhchisarai, with it’s charming pre-revolutionary streets, old Crimean Tatar houses and mountains, and, of course, Yalta. In fact, when most people think about Crimea, they think about Yalta. This unique place not only has a different from the whole peninsula climate, beautiful nature, but also witnessed so many historical events.

Livadia Palace in Yalta is a wonderful place with green parks, fresh air and beautiful architecture. In the beginning of the 20th century it used to be the Summer residence of the Romanoff (Romanov) family. Tsar Nicholas 2, his wife and five children loved the place and truly enjoyed coming here. Indeed, the moment you enter this place, you feel it’s soul and tragedy, it’s not like some ‘frozen’ and stiff palaces, it’s a true home.

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You can see letters N and A for Nicholas and Alexandra, his wife, on the well.

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This is how the last Russian tsar’s office looked, you can see a couple of his letters and documents on the table.

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We can still witness the tableware the royal family used.

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How touching- this photo has probably been a present from the children, as it says ‘Mom’ and “Dad’ on it.

After visitting this lovely place you start feeling how down-to-earth the Romanoff family was. Unfortunately, they have all been cruelly murdered by Russian Communists Bolsheviks in 1918, the eldest of five children Grand Duchess Olga was only 22 at that time, the youngest Prince Alexei – 13. The last Russian Emperor and his family have been shot to death by Soviet soldiers.

I am taking particular interest in the Romanoff family, hence my excitement about Livadia Palace. There are a couple of good movies about the last Russian tsar and tsarina – ‘The Assassin of the Tsar’, ‘Last Days of the Last Tsar’, ‘Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny’, ‘Russian Ark’ and ‘The Romanovs: an Imperial Family’. I also enjoy lookig through their pictures, they seem so close, a true family.

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Adile