|ranges from 500,000 to 6,500,000|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Turkey||150,000 - 6,000,000|
|Crimean Tatar, Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian|
|a Tengriism was the pagan religion before the rule of Ozbeg Khan; there are those claiming to be remnants as well as revivalists in Crimean communities around the world.|
Crimean Tatars (Crimean Tatar: Qırımtatar, Ukrainian: Кримськi татари, Russian: Крымские татары) or Crimeans (Crimean Tatar: Qırım, Qırımlı) are a Turkic ethnic group, and formerly during the Crimean Khanate a Turco-Mongol ethnic group, native to the Crimea (a peninsula on the northern part of the Black Sea) in modern-day Ukraine. They are a subgroup of the Tatars. Crimean Tatars speak Crimean Tatar, Russian or Turkish, depending on locale, and increasingly Ukrainian, as it is mostly the language of education. For example, in Crimea, they use Russian in public and/or with non-Tatars, while Turkey's population of Crimean Tatar ancestry primarily uses Turkish.
In modern times, in addition to living in Ukraine, there is a large diaspora of Crimean Tatars in Turkey, Uzbekistan, Romania, Bulgaria, Western Europe, the Middle East and North America, as well as small communities in Finland, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus and Poland.
In the Ukrainian Census in 2001, 248,200 reported that they are Crimean Tatars. Of these, 243,400 lived in Crimea. In addition, 1,800 Crimean Tatars lived in the city of Sevastopol, which lies on the Crimean peninsula but has a special status.
About 150,000 remain in exile in Central Asia, mainly in Uzbekistan. The official number of Crimean Tatars in Turkey is 150,000; some claims are as high as 6,000,000, which would presumably indicate all Turks with at least some Crimean Tatar blood. They mostly live in Eskişehir Province, descendants of those who emigrated in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the Dobruja region straddling Romania and Bulgaria, there are more than 27,000 Crimean Tatars: 24,000 on the Romanian side, and 3,000 on the Bulgarian side..
The Crimean Tatars are subdivided into three sub-ethnic groups:
- the Tats (not to be confused with Tat people, living in the Caucasus region) who used to inhabit the mountainous Crimea before 1944 (about 55%),
- the Yalıboyu who lived on the southern coast of the peninsula (about 30%),
- the Noğay (not to be confused with Nogai people, living now in Southern Russia) – former inhabitants of the Crimean steppe (about 15%).
The Tats and Yalıboyus have a Caucasoid physical appearance, while the Noğays retain some Mongoloid physical appearance.
Historians suggest that the inhabitants of the mountainous parts of Crimea lying to the central and southern parts (the Tats), and those of the Southern coast of Crimea (the Yalıboyu) were the direct descendants of the Pontic Greeks, Armenians, Scythians, Ostrogoths (Crimean Goths) and Kipchaks along with the Cumans while the latest inhabitants of the northern steppe represent the descendants of the Nogai Horde of the Black Sea nominally subjects of the Crimean Khan."The Crimean Tatars: The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation". Iccrimea.org. 1944-05-18. Retrieved 2012-10-24.</ref> It is largely assumed that the Tatarization process that mostly took place in the 16th century brought a sense of cultural unity through the blending of the Greeks, Armenians, Italians and Ottoman Turks of the southern coast, Goths of the central mountains, and Kipchaks and Cumans of the steppe and forming of the Crimean Tatar ethnic group. However, the Cuman language is considered the direct ancestor of the current language of the Crimean Tatars with possible incorporations of the other languages like Crimean Gothic.
Another theory suggests Crimean Tatars trace theirs origins to the waves of ancient people Scythians, Greeks, Goths, Italians and Armenians. When the golden horde invaded Crimea in the 1230s. They then mixed with populations which had settled in Eastern Europe, including Crimea since the seventh century: Tatars, but also Mongols and other Turkic groups (Khazars, Pechenegs, Cumans, and Kipchacks), as well as the ancient.
The Crimean Tatars emerged as a nation at the time of the Crimean Khanate. The Crimean Khanate was a Turkic-speaking Muslim state which was among the strongest powers in Eastern Europe until the beginning of the 18th century. The nobles and rulers of the Crimean Tatars were the progeny of Hacı I Girai a Jochid descendant of Genghis Khan, and thus of Batu Khan of the Golden Horde. The Crimean Tatars mostly adopted Islam in the 14th century and thereafter Crimea became one of the centers of Islamic civilization. This was signified by Ozbeg Khan erecting the first mosque and medrese in Eski Qırım in 1314. According to Baron Iosif Igelström, in 1783 there were close to 1600 mosques and religious schools in Crimea. In Bakhchisaray, the khan Meñli I Giray built Zıncırlı Medrese (literally "Chain Madrassah"), an Islamic seminary where one has to bow while entering from its door because of the chain hanging over. This symbolized the Crimean society's respect for learning. Meñli I Giray also constructed a large mosque on the model of Hagia Sophia (which was ruined in 1850s). Later, the khans built a greater palace, Hansaray in Bakhchisaray, which survives to this day. Sahib I Giray patronized many scholars and artists in this palace. During the reign of Devlet I Giray the architect Mimar Sinan built a mosque, Juma-Jami, in Yevpatoria. The Crimean Khanate became a protectorate of the Ottoman Empire in 1475, when the Ottoman general Gedik Ahmed Pasha conquered the southern coast of Crimea. The alliance with the Ottomans became an important factor in the survival of the khanate until the 18th century.
Until the beginning of the 18th century, Crimean Tatars were known for frequent, at some periods almost annual, devastating raids into Ukraine and Russia. For a long time, until the early 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East which was the most important basis of its economy. One of the most important trading ports and slave markets was Kefe. Some researchers estimate that altogether more than 3 million people, predominantly Ukrainians but also Russians, Belarusians and Poles, were captured and enslaved during the time of the Crimean Khanate in what was called "the harvest of the steppe". On the other hand, lands of Crimean Tatars were also being raided by Cossacks, armed Slavic horsemen, who often savagely attacked and plundered the land of Crimean Tatars. The Don and Zaporozhian Cossacks also managed to raid Crimean Tatars' land. The last recorded major Crimean raid, before those in the Russo-Turkish War (1768–74) took place during the reign of Peter the Great (1682–1725) However, Cossack raids continued after that time; Ottoman Grand Vizier complained to the Russian consul about raids to Crimea and Özi in 1761.
In the Russian Empire
The Russo-Turkish War (1768–74) resulted in the defeat of the Ottomans by the Russians, and according to the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774) signed after the war, Crimea became independent and Ottomans renounced their political right to protect the Crimean Khanate. After a period of political unrest in Crimea Russia violated the treaty and annexed the Crimean Khanate in 1783. After the annexation, many Crimean Tatars were massacred and exiled into Siberia and under pressure of Slavic colonization, Crimean Tatars began to abandon their homes and move to the Ottoman Empire in continuing waves of emigration. Particularly, the Crimean War of 1853–1856, the laws of 1860–63, the Tsarist deliberate policy of annihilating Crimean Tatar existence in Crimea and the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78) caused an exodus of the Crimean Tatars. Of total Tatar population 300,000 of the Tauride Province about 200,000 Crimean Tatars emigrated. Many Crimean Tatars perished in the process of emigration, including those who drowned while crossing the Black Sea. Today the descendants of these Crimeans form the Crimean Tatar diaspora in Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.
Ismail Gasprinski (1851–1914) was a renowned Crimean Tatar intellectual, whose efforts laid the foundation for the modernization of Muslim culture and the emergence of the Crimean Tatar national identity. The bilingual Crimean Tatar-Russian newspaper Terciman-Perevodchik he published in 1883–1914, functioned as an educational tool through which a national consciousness and modern thinking emerged among the entire Turkic-speaking population of the Russian Empire. His New Method (Usul-i Cedid) schools, numbered 350 across the peninsula helped create a new Crimean Tatar elite. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 this new elite, which included Noman Çelebicihan and Cafer Seydamet proclaimed the first democratic republic in the Islamic world, named the Crimean People's Republic on 26 December 1917. However, this republic was short-lived and destroyed by the Bolshevik uprising in January 1918.
In the Soviet Union (1917–1991)
Soviet policies on the peninsula led to widespread starvation in 1921. Food was confiscated for shipment to central Russia, while more than 100,000 Tatars starved to death, and tens of thousands fled to Turkey or Romania. Thousands more were deported or slaughtered during the collectivization in 1928–29. The government campaign led to another famine in 1931–33. No other Soviet nationality suffered the decline imposed on the Crimean Tatars; between 1917 and 1933 half the Crimean Tatar population had been killed or deported.
During World War II, the entire Crimean Tatar population in Crimea fell victim to Soviet policies. Although a great number of Crimean Tatar men served in the Red Army and took part in the partisan movement in Crimea during the war, the existence of the Tatar Legion in the Nazi army and the collaboration of Crimean Tatar religious and political leaders with Hitler during the German occupation of Crimea provided the Soviets with a pretext for accusing the whole Crimean Tatar population of being Nazi collaborators. Modern researchers also point to the fact that a further reason was the geopolitical position of Crimea where Crimean Tatars were perceived as a threat. This belief is based in part on an analogy with numerous other cases of deportations of non-Russians from boundary territories (see, e.g., Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union), as well as the fact that other non-Russian populations, such as Greeks, Armenians and Bulgarians were also removed from Crimea.
All Crimean Tatars were deported en masse, in a form of collective punishment, on 18 May 1944 as "special settlers" to Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic and other distant parts of the Soviet Union. The decree "On Crimean Tatars" describes the resettlement as a very humane procedure. The reality described by the victims in their memoirs was different. 46.3% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition. This event is called Sürgün in the Crimean Tatar language. Many of them were re-located to toil as indentured workers in the Soviet GULAG system.
Although a 1967 Soviet decree removed the charges against Crimean Tatars, the Soviet government did nothing to facilitate their resettlement in Crimea and to make reparations for lost lives and confiscated property. Crimean Tatars, having definite tradition of non-communist political dissent, succeeded in creating a truly independent network of activists, values and political experience. Crimean Tatars, led by Crimean Tatar National Movement Organization, were not allowed to return to Crimea from exile until the beginning of the Perestroika in the mid-1980s.
After Ukrainian independence
Today, more than 250,000 Crimean Tatars have returned to their homeland, struggling to re-establish their lives and reclaim their national and cultural rights against many social and economic obstacles. In 1991, the Crimean Tatar leadership founded the Qurultay, or Parliament, to act as a representative body for the Crimean Tatars which could address grievances to the Ukrainian central government, the Crimean government, and international bodies. Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is the executive body of the Qurultay.
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- "About number and composition population of UKRAINE by data All-Ukrainian population census'". Ukrainian Census (2001). State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
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- Khodarkovsky – Russia's Steppe Frontier p. 11
- Williams, BG. The Crimean Tatars: The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation. Pgs 7–23. ISBN 90-04-12122-6
- István Vásáry (2005) Cumans and Tatars, Cambridge University Press.
- "CUMAN". Christusrex.org. Retrieved 2012-10-24.
- Stearns (1978). "Sources for the Krimgotische". p. 37. Retrieved 12 February 2011.
- The Crimean Tatars: The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation. By Brian Glyn Williams 
- Autonomy, Self Governance and Conflict Resolution: Innovative approaches, By Marc Weller 
- Halil İnalcik, 1942[page needed]
- Williams, BG. The Crimean Tatars: The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation. Pg 12. ISBN 90-04-12122-6
- "The Crimean Tatars and their Russian-Captive Slaves" (PDF). Eizo Matsuki, Mediterranean Studies Group at Hitotsubashi University.
- Andrew G. Boston (18. April 2005). "Black Slaves, Arab Masters". Frontpage Magazine. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
- Alan Fisher, Muscovy and the Black Sea Slave Trade – Canadian American Slavic Studies, 1972, Vol. 6, pp. 575–594
- Alan W. Fisher, The Russian Annexation of the Crimea 1772–1783, Cambridge University Press, p. 26.
- "Hijra and Forced Migration from Nineteenth-Century Russia to the Ottoman Empire", by Bryan Glynn Williams, Cahiers du Monde russe, 41/1, 2000, pp. 79–108.
- One Europe, many nations: a historical dictionary of European national groups, James Minahan, page 189, 2000
- Aurélie Campana, Sürgün: "The Crimean Tatars’ deportation and exile, Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence", 16 June 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2012, ISSN 1961-9898
- Subtelny, Orest (2000). Ukraine: A History. University of Toronto Press. p. 483. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0.
- The Muzhik & the Commissar, TIME Magazine, 30 November 1953
- Buttino, Marco (1993). In a Collapsing Empire: Underdevelopment, Ethnic Conflicts and Nationalisms in the Soviet Union, p.68 ISBN 88-07-99048-2
- Abdulganiyev, Kurtmolla (2002). Institutional Development of the Crimean Tatar National Movement, International Committee for Crimea. Retrieved on 2008-03-22
- Ziad, Waleed; Laryssa Chomiak (20 February 2007). "A Lesson in Stifling Violent Extremism: Crimea's Tatars have created a promising model to lessen ethnoreligious conflict". CS Monitor. Retrieved 6 August 2007.
- Conquest, Robert. 1970. The Nation Killers: The Soviet Deportation of Nationalities (London: Macmillan). (ISBN 0-333-10575-3)
- Fisher, Alan W. 1978. The Crimean Tatars. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press. (ISBN 0-8179-6661-7)
- Fisher, Alan W. 1998. Between Russians, Ottomans and Turks: Crimea and Crimean Tatars (Istanbul: Isis Press, 1998). (ISBN 975-428-126-2)
- Nekrich, Alexander. 1978. The Punished Peoples: The Deportation and Fate of Soviet Minorities at the End of the Second World War (New Yk: W. W. Norton). (ISBN 0-393-00068-0)
- (Russian) Valery Vozgrin "Исторические судьбы крымских татар"
- Uehling, Greta (June 2000). "Squatting, self-immolation, and the repatriation of Crimean Tatars". Nationalities Papers 28 (2): 317–341. doi:10.1080/713687470.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Crimean Tatars.|
- Official web-site of Qirim Tatar Cultural Association of Canada
- Official web-site of Bizim QIRIM International Nongovernmental Organization
- International Committee for Crimea
- UNDP Crimea Integration and Development Programme
- Crimean Tatar Home Page
- Crimean Tatars
- Crimean Tatar words (Turkish)
- Crimean Tatar words (English)
- State Defense Committee Decree No. 5859ss: On Crimean Tatars (See also Three answers to the Decree No. 5859ss)