A journey to reaper: Crimean Turks' expulsion by Soviets

Soviet Commissioner Beriya who brought the idea of deporting Muslims in Crimean and Caucasus to the agenda of Soviet leadership initiated a plan to remove these communities from their homeland to several camps in remote towns.

A journey to reaper: Crimean Turks' expulsion by Soviets

After the Second World War, unlike Europe political developments did not lead peace and stability in to Muslim communities living under the brutal regime of Soviet regime. Joseph Stalin, ethnicall Georgian Soviet leader who was known for his cruelty, ordered to deport Muslim groups in Caucasus as well as Crimean Turks, a group which had been living on the Black Sea for centuries. They have to wait for nearly a half century to return their homeland.

The figures of 1939, just beginning of the World War II, the population of Turks living in Crimean was 218 thousand and it was an autonomous entity under Soviet Federation. Due to various reasons, Soviet administration wrongly accused them of commuting betrayal. Crimean Turks were alleged to forge cooperation with Nazis against Soviets. Soviet Commissioner Beriya who brought the idea of deporting Muslims in Crimean and Caucasus to the agenda of Soviet leadership initiated a plan to remove these communities from their homeland to several camps in remote towns. In April 1944, Soviets decided to clean Autonomous Crimean Republic from ‘anti-Soviet sentiments’.

It started all with the decision which was signed personally by Stalin on 11th May 1944. This signature marked a painful period of the history of Crimean Turks. On the night of 18th May, thousands of Crimean Turks were forcefully removed from their homes with no permission to take private possessions with them. For many, the train journey which was assumed to carry them to detention camps was the end of their life. The estimations suggest half of the population was perished in the journeys and just after their arrival to the camps. The status of autonomous republic was abolished in 1945 and nine years later the region was left to Ukrainian authority.

Krushchev who was appointed the leadership of Soviets after Stalin’s death paved the way for returning for Muslims but the Crimean Turks were excluded from this opening. In 1967 they received restoration of honor which necessarily does not mean any meaningful step.

Finally, the Soviet administration issued permission for the Crimean Turks to come back their homeland after massive protest in the Red Square, 1988. Over the three years nearly 200 thousands Crimean Turks returned. Yet, what they encounter in Crimean does not certainly look like what they left almost 40 years ago. The increase in Russian population over the previous years becomes the Crimean Turks minority in their own native land.

Today, the Crimean Turks are considered as lucky for their return but they have severe grievances to survive in this strategic region where super powers strive to expand their political influence

Kuzey News Agency

Last Mod: 29 Ekim 2013, 18:22
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