Omer Aymali / History / World Bulletin
The history of the Crimean Tatars, whom are a Turkish-Muslim community in the Crimean peninsula, goes back as far as the sixth century. The Crimean khanate was set up after the disbandment of the Golden Horde at the beginning of the fifteenth century, and came under Ottoman protection in 1475.
Ottoman rule in the region lasted around 300 years and ended with the Ottoman-Russian war in years 1769-1774. At the end of this war, a peace treaty was signed that ended the Ottoman Empire’s protection over the Crimean khanate. After this, Crimea became independent, but in reality, as much as the khanate was claiming its independence, Crimea was pushed into an bloody internal conflict as the Russians pushed to abolish the puppet khanate.
Shortly afterwards, the Russian army went into Crimea they imposed their policies there, and thus, Crimea fell to Russian occupation in 1783, when the tsaritsa, Catherine II, announced in a manifesto that the Crimea khanate had come to an end and that its land had been invaded by Russia.
The tsaritsa stated in the manifesto that the Crimean Tatars would receive equal rights like everybody else, and that their persons, properties, estates, mosques and religious beliefs would be protected in addition to being allowed to benefit from all the rights and privileges present within the Russian Empire.
The decision to annex Crimea didn’t cause any serious uproar between the Crimean Tatars and the Russians. The reason for this was that the country was left in great crisis after long wars and internal conflicts. Additionally, Russia began pulling the upper-class Crimean Tatars to their side. As for the Ottoman Empire, they couldn’t stop the Russian annexation and was left with no other choice but to accept it.
Within a short while, the Russian administrative system started being implemented in Crimea. In 1784, the "Tavrida Oblast" was established on lands around Crimea and Taman. The new oblast (province) was made up of seven townships: Simferopol, Yevpatoriya, Perekop, Levkopol, Melitopol, Fanagoriya and Dnyeprovsk. Crimea’s new borders included Crimean Tatars and other ethnicities, as well as lands that had religious and economic relations.
By placing the Crimean Tatars in such a wide and complex administrative system, it was hoped that they would move away from their Islamic identity. Since the start of the nineteenth century, Crimean Tatars were kept away from local administrative positions.
One of the first objectives of the Russians was to change the population's balance and in turn try to erase the Tatars' Islamic culture in order to ‘Russianize’ the region. The first effort towards this was the changing of place names. For example, the province was given the new name “Tavrida”, which was attributed to an ancient Tavr community that lived in the time of Herodotus. Kezlev (which meant 'beuatiful house') was changed to “Yevpatoriya’’ (being related to Mithridates Eupator), and Kefe was changed to “Feodosiya” meaning Theodosia city. In the sisteenth century, Akmescit, which was established by the Crimean Tatars, was givien the Greek name “Simferopol”. A new fortified harbour city that was built by Russians on top of an old Tatar village called Akyar was given the old Greek name Sevastopol, meaning magnificent city.
With Russia being represented in the coat of arms of Tavrida, the symbols of the double headed eagle and the orthodox cross were used to show their transition from the Hellenism to Christianity. Crimean cities and townships later on arranged their crests in such a way as to signify their background as “Greek and Christian”, even though this completely ignored the history of the Turkish Muslims residing there.
By closing down madrassas, Crimean Tatar intellectuals were silenced. Crimea’s material artworks from its past history and culture were destroyed and its libraries were burnt down. In order to protect their own culture, hundreds and thousands of Crimean Tatar Muslims abandoned their homeland and fled to Turkey and Dobra due to the tsar's coercive politics and oppression. After this, the first mass migration people continued to until the end of the nineteenth century.
One of the major blows that the Crimean Tatars experienced within their cultural history was in 1929. The Bolsheviks seized all the surviving books that were written in the past century with the excuse that they were aiding them in their transition from the Arabic to the Latin alphabet.
After World War II, Soviet Union president Josef Stalin decided to exile the Crimean Tatars after accusing them of working with the Germans during the war. The order was sent to deport the Crimean Tatars on the night of May 18, 1944. The Soviet Union's 'Red Army' soldiers ordered the Crimean Tatars to leave their homes after forcefully entering at night. Within two hours, before even being given the chance to take any belongings with them from their homes, they were rounded up in village, town and city squares. Those who did not want to abandon their homes were taken away by force and those who resisted were killed.
Within three days, around 180,000 Crimean Tatars were exiled to various regions of the Russian Federation on train wagons normally used for carrying animals. 151,000 of them were sent to Uzbekistan. The Crimean Tatars were settled into towns and villages where there were factories and businesses for them to work in.
The Crimean Tatars' exile continued until 1987. Due to the Soviet government's reform of their harsh policies in 1987, 2,300 Crimean Tatars returned home. The following year, 19,300 Crimean Tatars were also allowed to return to their homes. After the Soviet government released a declaration on the November 14, opening the way for people to return back to their homelands, the migration back to Crimea sped up. In 1989, the number of Crimea Tatars who had returned reached 28,000. In the month of May 1990, this number increased to 83,000. After the dispersion of the Soviet Union, Crimea became a self-governing republic that attached itself to Ukraine.
According to statistics, in 1995 the number of people living in Crimea was 2.6 million. Out of this, 67% were Russian, 22% were Ukrainian, and 10% were Crimean Tatars, with the remaining 1% consisting of other ethnicities (Karaim, Kirimcak, Roman, Arminian, German, Bulgarian, and Jewish). The number of Crimean Tatars had reached 300,000.
Hakan Kırımlı, Kırım' da Rus Hâkimiyetinin İlk Yüz Yılı
Kemal Özcan Kırım Türklerinin Sürgünü ve Milli Mücadele Hareketi (1944-1990)
Valeriy VOZGRİN Türk. Çev.: Hakan Kırımlı, Kırım Tatar Kültürünün Yağmalanması
Many historical artefacts were lost in the blaze, including the famous wooden pulpit which was planted in the mosque after the victory of Salahuddin al-Ayyubi over the Crusaders.
Naji Salim al-Ali was shot by an Israeli Mossad agent on July 22, 1987.
Adana and Mersin were being given to France along with the edge of Syria. Provinces Basra and Baghdad, the Haifa and Akka harbours were being left to Britain. This way the shared usage of the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates was being guaranteed. Alexandria’s free harbour and Palestine were becoming an international region.
Faik Ali took out all the evidence he had to prove that the Armenians that were living in Kutahya were innocent after Talat Pasha wanted to enforce the law being made about deporting the Armenians. Faik Ali stated that he would withdraw from his position if they enforced this law, and after he had threatened them to leave, Talat Pasha took a step back and cancelled the deportation.
Around 20,000 Circassian resistance fighters gathered in Kbaada on May 21, 1864. They were surrounded by around 100,000 Russian soldiers. In the end, the Circassians chose martyrdom above surrender.
Though the name ‘Baghdad’ is synonymous with the Islamic Golden age, it in fact never even existed in the collective consciousness of the Muslim empire until 130 years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad.
In 1911 after the People's Republic of China was established; came the revolution that was initiated by Sun Yat Sen. Han Chinese people were placed in areas that were mostly rich in agriculture. In April of 1931, an uprising that was triggered by the leaders of Kumul, Niyaz Haji and Salih Darga, led to independence.
An Indian Muslim was the Anadolu Agency's first employee in war-torn Anatolia.
Omar Mukhtar took full responsibility of leadership in Libya and sent a letter to Ahmed Al-Sharif Al-Senusi in February 1924. The letter which was full of rebuke stated that all prior agreements made between the Italians and Idris Al-Senusi have been cancelled and that the Tripoli community had been left without a leader.
On the 17th of October nearly thirty thousand Algerian migrants started a peaceful demonstration in protest of the war. With the command of Governor Papo, the demonstration was dispersed. Police were ordered to open fire and a great massacre took place. Thousands of Algerians were wounded, hundreds were killed. The bodies of those murdered on the Saint Michelle Bridge were thrown into the Seine River.
One of the most prominent leaders of the All India Muslim League, Allama Iqbal encouraged the creation of a "state in north-western India for Muslims" in his 1930 presidential address.
Deir Yassin has become and still is a corrosive reminder of the continuous suffering, struggle and systematic genocide of the Palestinian people that has been going on for 65 years.
On Friday, 9 April 1948, the people of the Deir Yassin village were wiped out by Israelis who were fighting to establish a Jewish homeland on stolen Palestinian soil.
A Russian Jewish doctor in Paris asked the British government to gather an army to seize eastern Arabia land for a Jewish national home, a month before Balfour declaration backed the idea.
The new army began their Western practices with French, Italian and English anthems accompanied by a band. Among Sultan Mahmud II’s official and unofficial ceremonies, upon entry and exit, anthems written for European royalty such as 'God Save the King', 'La Marseillaise' and 'Vive Henri IV' were played.