Monday, May 15, 2023

Tatars Must Reject Moscow-Imposed Divisions or Face Eventual Extinction, Samigullin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 11 – The results of the 2021 Russian census compel Tatars to face up to a problem they have avoided addressing in the past, Eldar Samigullin says. The divisions of the Tatar nation into territorial groups are already reducing the number of Tatars and threatens to destroy the nation altogether in the future.

            The head of Bishkek’s Tatar Historical Society says that the result of the 2021 census are unreliable and have reduced the number of all nations in the country, including Russians; but they were calculated to show that there are only half as many Tatars as there in fact are (

            According to the Russian government and its census, Samigullin continues, “there are Siberian Tatars, Astrakhan Tatars, Lithuanian Tatars, Crimean Tatars, Polish Tatars, Kasimov Tatars, Kryhshens, Mishars and other Tatars.” But those artificial divisions “do not correspond to reality.”

            “In reality,” he continues, “there are no Siberian Tatars but there are Tatars of Siberia; there are no Lithuanian Tatars, but there are Tatars of Lithuania; there are no Crimean Tatars, but there are Tatars of Crimea; there are no Finnish Tatars, but there are Tatars of Finland; and so on.”

“We know that it wasn’t the Tatars themselves who thought up these territorial divisions,” the scholar says. “Tatars, regardless of their territorial location, are interested in the preservation of a single, united and flourishing nation,” one with its roots in the Mongol conquest and with a great future if it remains unified.

            Consequently, Samigullin says, the 2021 census must be a wake up call for all Tatars to demand that they aren’t going to allow Moscow to subdivide them and then push for their extinction.

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