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Crimea - The Tatars (Ukraine)

Last modified: 2013-12-02 by andrew weeks
Keywords: crimea | ukraine | tarak | krym | tatar | tartar | tartary | tataria | republic of crimea | tamga |
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by Željko Heimer



See also:


Tatar movement

In 1944, Crimea's Tatar population was deported for 'disloyalty' during WW2. Although this decision was later revoked, it was not until 1989 that the Tartars were legally allowed to return to Crimea, where they now constitute around 8 per cent of the population. Tartar nationalists fly a light blue flag with a yellow tarak in the upper hoist. (The tarak is an ancient symbol originally used as a cattle brand).
Stuart Notholt

This flag is listed under number 97 at the chart "Flags of Aspirant Peoples" [asp] as : "Krim (Tatars) - Crimea peninsula."
Ivan Sache, 16 September 1999

A paper originally published in Izvestia (Moscow) and translated in French in Courrier International (# 464, 23 September 1999) gives additional information about the history and current status of Tatars in Crimea :
Status - On 17 May 1999,  the Ukrainian president Leonid Koutchma signed a decree creating a Council of Representants of Crimea's Tatars at the Ukrainian presidency level. Mustapha Djemiliev, the President of the Tatar parliament (Medjlis) was appointed at the head of the Council. The Medjlis had been elected by the traditional Tatar assembly (Kurultai) but had not been officially recognized. On 24 May, the Prime Minister of Crimea, Serguei Kounitsyne, promised to create a similar structure at the Crimean level. These decisions followed weeks of Tatar demonstration in Simferopol, which would elsewhere had been controled by the Ukrainian Army.
History - Tatars colonized Crimea in 13th century. Between 1475 and 1775, Crimea was an independent khanat (capital Bakhtchissarai). It was annexed by Russia in 1783 (proclamation by Catherine II). During the Second World War, Crimea was occupied by Germany from October 1941 to May 1944. The whole Tatar community, ca. 400,000 peoples, were accusated to have collaborated with the Germans and massively deported to Siberia and Uzbekistan. On 14 November 1989, the Supreme Soviet of USSR allowed the Tatars to come back in Crimea.
Claims - The Crimea's Tatars ask for:
- a status of autochtonous Ukrainian people
- an official status for Kurultai and Medjlis, as supreme representative authorities
- an effective representation at all levels of political organization
- a status of national language for their language
- the establishment of material conditions allowing the come-back of all deported peoples
- the equality of rights of all peoples of Crimea regarding privatization and emploiement

Other autochtonous peoples are Greeks, Germans, Bulgarians, Armenians, Karaites (Jews) and of course Russians. The Tatar question will be central in the next Ukrainian presidential elections (autumn 1999).
More valuable info can be obtained at <www.euronet.nl>. Courrier International shows a picture taken during demonstrations in Simferopol. The flag shown (same as above), although folded, is easily recognizable.
Ivan Sache, 27 September 1999

At <www.vatankirim.net> there is a 2:3 and lighter version of the flag of Crimea's Tatars and a consruction sheet for this flag.
Onur Özgün, 22 March 2004

See also: Tataria


Republic of Crimea (1917 - 1918)


by Antonio Martins, 12 January 2002 (reconstructed)

When Crimean Tatars declared independence in the end of 1917 they used a pale blue flag with a golden stripe/belt in the middle (horizontal one I believe). Tatar independence in Crimea was short-lived and Russian invasion in the beginning of 1918 put an end to the Tatar Republic of Crimea and to the use of the flag.
Mariusz Pazdziora, 7 October 1997



Religious flag
by Željko Heimer


Military flag
by Željko Heimer

The green flag is The Republic of the Tatars of Crimea - religious flag. The flag was adopted november 1917, abolished January 1918 (source: Jaumé Olle, Historical Flags, 1998).
Helge Jacobsen, 2 July 2000

The green flag with golden tamga was used by the Republic of Crimea in later 1917-1918, under leadership of ethnic tatars. The flags was in use for religious pourposes; light blue backgorund with tamga was the state and civil flag; and red with tamga was the military flag. Only light blue flag survived, and is now used as ethnic flag of the Crimean Tatar. Tamga was used in canton and in center. No regulation stablished the exact situation of the Tamga in the flag
Jaume Olle', 10 July 2000