The Crimean Tatar Card Is Being Played Again

The Crimean Tatar writer and artist Diana Kadi recently wrote an open letter to Angela Merkel:

“I am the author of a novel about the Crimea. Since an information war is being waged of such intensity that propaganda and lies have become the norm, I believe that it is important for me to set forth my views on the subject of the Crimea. Ukrainian politicians claim that Russia is the aggressor and that Crimean Tatars are oppressed, but that is simply untrue. My people have once again become an instrument of political manipulation. The alleged oppression of the Crimean Tatars is one of those all-purpose legends pulled out of the hat from time to time. I ask you to allow me to address the Bundestag in order to tell the truth about what is really going on in the Crimea.”

Unsurprisingly, Ms. Kadi’s eloquent appeal to the German chancellor was suppressed by the Western media and went unanswered by the addressee. Yet, in contrast to this genuine cultural leader of the Crimean Tatar community the leadership of the extremist “Crimean Tatar Medzlis” (quasi-religious organization in exile) has an excellent relationship with and unhindered access to the German political establishment. Extremist leaders Mustafa Dzemilev and Renat Chubarov have been in close contact for years with officials of the German Foreign Ministry and other government figures.

While strengthening its relationship with the Medzlis, Berlin is pointedly ignoring that organization’s involvement in and encouragement of violence and ethnic cleansing. (Chubarov recently made threatening noises against Crimea’s Russian inhabitants, “advising” them to leave voluntarily now, before their presence is terminated in less pleasant ways.) Chubarov has, nevertheless been received at the German Foreign Ministry as a legitimate interlocutor. German officials have no problem conversing with an individual whose passionate disdain for Crimea’s civilian population led him and his partisans in the Ukraine to organize a trade blockade of the peninsula and then publicly take the credit for the resulting burdensome shortages and higher prices. (The worse the better, seems to be the moto of these pro-Western freedom fighters.) Neither did German officials take notice of the role of these “activists” in the blowing up of Crimean electric relays, thus inflicting another undeserved hardship on the general population they allegedly seek to “liberate” from Russian oppression.

As for Diana Kadi and her aspirations to address the German parliament to articulate her vision of the Crimean situation, the chances for that happening indeed appear to be very slim.

The Medzlis, which at the moment seems to be such a political darling of the West (a status also enjoyed by the Albanian Kosovar UCK [KLA] terrorists), acts pursuant to the instructions of its foreign sponsors. The Medzlis leadership works closely with other Western mercenaries of a similar ilk, such as the infamous Turkish Gray Wolves and Hizb-ut-Tahrir. (The latter “benign” outfit is described in Wikipedia as “an international, pan-Islamist political organization, which describes its ideology as Islam, and its aim as the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah or Islamic state.”) In January 2018, these extremists hurled Molotov coctails at the residence of the Crimean Tatar mufti Emirali Ablaev who, evidently, does not share their religious ideology. 

Yet, their terrorist dossier nothwithstanding a representative of one of these groups appears more likely at this point than Ms. Kadi to be allowed to address the Bundestag.

The Crimean Tatars’ fate during most of the last century has been tragic. It is a regrettable fact that a misguided portion of their population gave a friendly reception to the Nazi invaders in 1941, and elements of their ethnic and religious leadership did discredit themselves by collaborating with the occupation. After the end of World War II, at Stalin’s orders, Crimean Tatars were deported from the peninsula to some of the remotest regions of the USSR. However, in April of 2014 the nearly as maligned Vladimir Putin reversed Stalin’s collective exile decree and rehabilitated all Crimean ethnic groups punished by deportation for wartime collaboration. At present there are about 260,000 Crimean Tatars inhabiting the Crimea. That is about 10% of the population.  

At the same time, Moscow is implementing policies designed to make the Crimean Tatars feel comfortable living on the peninsula. The Crimean Tatar language has official status, equal to Russian and Ukrainian. Crimean Tatars are represented in all the peninsula’s significant institutions such as vice-president of the government, deputy head of parliament, deputy minister of culture, and deputy head of government of the autonomoys city of Simferopol. They have their own television and radio stations, broadcasting in their language, in the Crimea.

The Russian Federation has formulated a Crimea development program which is designed to radically reconfigure the peninsula by 2020, investing in it huge development funds. About two-thirds of the Federation’s development capital is earmarked for the Crimea. The enormous progress being made at all levels directly benefits all inhabitants of the Crimea, including the Tatars.

The relaxed and optimistic mood the Crimean Tatars is reflected in the construction of a mosque which is slated to become their most important cultural center. It will be built in Simferopol and will feature four minarets, each about 50 meters in height.

Crimean Tatars spent years seeking permission from the former Ukrainian authorities to build this mosque, but to no avail. It is now being done, after reunification with Russia. Why are Western “friends” loath to talk about it?

The exiled, Western-financed Medzlis leadership is attempting to organize its own “volunteer battaglion” in the Herson district of southern Ukraine, which borders on the Crimea. It is highly unlikely (to quote Theresa May in reverse) that the inhabitants of the area, who suffered extreme hardship because of the terrorist-instigated blockade, will welcome their self-proclaimed Medzlis “liberators” with open arms. 

The Medzlis, of course, is just one segment of the “fifth column” whose activities are aimed against Russia. The idea behind activating this vicious outfit is precisely to use it as an asset to generate Iraq-style terrorist mayhem, leading to the loss of thousands of mainly Muslim lives and generating bitterness that might accrues to the political benefit of the instigators.

Their human rights cant aside, NATO countries are utilizing the Crimean Tatars (in exactly the same way as Albanians and Bosnian Muslims in the Balkans) as one of their instruments in the new cold war they are unleashing on Russia. The “human rights” of the Crimean Tatars are to them a matter of complete indifference, except insofar as they are deemed useful to undermine Russia. But fortunately, those within the Crimean Tatar community who are willing to play NATO’s game are but a small and largely isolated minority. To the infinite chagrin of their perfidious foreign masters, their bark is bigger than their bite, for the moment at least.

Stephen Karganovic is President of the Srebrenica Historical Project.

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Articles by: Stephen Karganovic

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