Friday, June 28, 2019

Tatar Political Elite No-Shows at Kazan Conference on 750th Anniversary of Golden Horde

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 27 – Although they were invited, members of the top political elite of Tatarstan did not attend a forum organized by the Kazan Institute of History on “Pax Tatarica: The Genesis and Heritage of the Statehood of the Golden Horde,” the 750th anniversary of which is being marked in many places around the world.

            Their absence bothered many at the meeting given that for most Tatars, the Golden Horde is viewed as being at the genesis of Tatarstan.  Fauziya Bayramova, a longtime Tatar activist who wasn’t invited but who showed up any way, expressed these feelings most clearly (

            She told journalists that she had sent in a paper on the Siberian Tatars, who also trace their origins to the Golden Horde, but wasn’t invited. Nonetheless, she said, she had become because “I consider it a point of honor to participate in events devoted to the 750th anniversary of the Golden Horde.”

            “This is a very big jubilee!” Bayramova continued. “It is the 750th anniversary of our statehood! Such events should not be marked at the level of rural clubs. It must take place in golden palaces.”  That makes the lack of attention by officials to this event especially unfortunate.

            In here words, the president of Tatarstan should have been sitting in the position of chairman. “This is not some meeting of farmers; here are present scholars with world names” talking about a most important event in Tatar and world history.

            Uli Schamiloglu of the University of Wisconsin agreed with her.  Exchanging views with scholars is one thing, he said, “but measures of such importance should occur in a more solemn state, with the participation of society and with a political context.” Alas, “the situation in Russia today is the way it is.”

            “If this event had occurred in Kazakhstan, it would have been a much bigger deal,” the specialist on Tatars said. In fact, last month, a meeting in Paris devoted to the 750th anniversary of the Golden Horde took place at UNESCO headquarters.

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