Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Kyiv Must Adopt a Law Declaring Crimean Tatars an Indigenous People of Ukraine, Cemilev Says

Paul Goble


            Staunton, December 23 – The Ukrainian parliament must adopt a law declaring that the Crimean Tatars are an indigenous people of the country, according to Mustafa Cemilev, the longtime leader of the Crimean Tatar national movement and currently the Ukrainian president’s plenipotentiary representative for Crimean Tatar affairs.


            Cemilev said that in his view such a law will be adopted “because there are at present no political forces which would oppose it,” although it is possible that such might emerge in the course of discussions about it (qha.com.ua/djemilev-rada-doljna-priznat-krimskih-tatar-korennim-narodom-ukraini-141994.html).


            At a press conference yesterday, Cemilev noted that Ukrainian officials have regularly declared since March 2014 that the Crimean Tatars are an indigenous people of Ukraine, something they had not done earlier. That was an important step forward, but unfortunately, “nine months have passed” and no law has been passed.


            The Crimean Tatar leader said he would use all possibilities, including more meetings with Crimean Tatars and with others to press for the adoption of such a law as soon as possible, something he suggested was not only a matter of justice but important for the recovery of Ukrainian control over the  Russian occupied peninsula.

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