World Bulletin / News Desk
The Crimean Tatar National Council has called an emergency meeting to dicuss their rights after a local referendum led to the annexation of the peninsula by Russia.
Crimean Tatar leader Refat Chubarov said that the council will meet on March 29 to make decisions on the protection of their rights and for their self-determination.
A referendum on March 16 held by the Crimean Parliament resulted in the overwhelming majority of Crimeans voting to split from Ukraine and join Russia.
Hovewer, the native Crimean Tatars have up until this day refused to recognize the new Crimean parliament which came to power after former Ukrainian president Yanukovich was forced out of office in February.
Crimean Tatars also opted to boycott the referendum, which was criticized for having been held under the threat of pro-Russian militias who occupied Crimea shortly after the Ukrainian government fell.
Despite being the natives of Crimea, the Turkic-speaking Muslim Crimean Tatars have had their voices silenced by the ethnic-Russian majority in the peninsula, who took over Crimea after the Tatars were completely exiled by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in 1944.
As of the late 80s, some Crimean Tatars took advantage of the relaxed laws towards the downfall of the Soviet Union and returned to their homeland.
The vast majority, however, remain in countries like Uzbekistan and Turkey, where they sought refuge from the brutal Soviet regime.Last Mod: 24 Mart 2014, 12:12