38.15 The Movement of the Crimean Tatars

No 38 : 31 December 1975

Simferopol

On 18 November 150 Crimean Tatars assembled at the regional soviet executive committee building to ask the committee chairman for permission to register as residents and obtain employment.

The chairman refused to see them and the police detained two persons: Mustafa Osmanov (demobilized in 1972), has been living since then at the Shalfein State Farm without a residence permit) and Server //Mustafayev 5* from the village of Belaya Skala; the rest were taken to the regional MVD headquarters. There Superintendent Gaidamak interviewed four people and on various pretexts refused to grant them residence permits. The Tatars dispersed only after the two who had been detained were released.

*

On 22 November Medat Kurtvanov and Mamedi Chobanov were taken off the Simferopol-Kharkov train at Simferopol railway station. Letters in defence of Mustafa Dzhemilev were confiscated from Chobanov; these contained 700 signatures and were addressed to the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Committee of Human Rights.

Two days later Chobanov was taken back to his home in the village of Zhuravki by KGB officials; a search was then carried out. Nothing was confiscated during the search, which was conducted by Ilinov, an official from the regional MVD and by two policemen and two KGB men. One of the KGB men, who called himself Ivan Timofeyevich, said: “If you go on behaving like this there might be a repetition of what happened in 1944.”

*

Adzhimelek Mustafayeva, who was arrested in September (CCE 37), has been sentenced to 18 months’ banishment from the Crimea.
“The Crimean Hills are in Danger”

In September 1975 Refat Khalilov, who in recent years lived at Novoalekseyevka in the Kherson Region, bought a house in his home village of Gavr (now Plotinnoye), in the Bakhchisarai district.

On 29 September he set off in a truck, with his household effects, while his wife, children (aged 16 and 14) and aunt travelled in a car lent by a friend. The truck was stopped and turned back at Chongar, the first traffic-police post in the Crimea. The car in which Khalilov’s family was travelling was not stopped till after Simferopol, in the Priyatnoye Svidaniye settlement. Here they were met by some policemen, a plain-clothes man and a number of vigilantes. The driver’s documents were confiscated and the car was escorted to the Crimean border, where the documents were returned.

Over the next few days the roads leading to the village of Plotinnoye were patrolled by police units. On 30 September (or 1 October) the leaders of the state farm and local Party activists were summoned to the Golubenkoye village soviet. There two KGB officials explained to them that, although all nations are equal in our country, the Crimean Tatars could not be allowed to return to these villages. On the other hand, after the European Conference [in Helsinki], they could not be deported either. For this reason they must take every measure to ensure that Crimean Tatars did not buy houses in the Crimea.

On 9 October Khalilov’s family (without him) nevertheless arrived at their house. A local policeman soon turned up and examined their documents. About two hours later, two cars drove up to the house, containing a Colonel and a Captain of the police, together with the chairman of the village soviet and a group of vigilantes. A bus belonging to the state farm was also driven up. The Colonel ordered the whole family to get into the bus immediately. Nazife Osmanova, Khalilov’s aunt, showed him a letter announcing her husband’s death at the front, while defending Sevastopol. She asked to be allowed to spend just one day in her homeland, which she had not seen since 1944. The former owners of the house were shocked by the cruelty of the police; the former owner’s 18-year-old son said: “You’re driving people out just like the Fascists.” The driver wanted to refuse his services, as it was time to take the children to their homes from the infant-school, but the Colonel said: “The children will get home by themselves; the main job now is to get these people out of the Crimea.” With two vigilantes as an escort, the family was driven back to Novoalekseyevka.

Appeal by Crimean Tatar Women (August 1975)

The appeal was sent to the Party and government on the occasion of International Women’s Year, the 25th CPSU Congress and the 30th anniversary of Victory [in WW II]. It gives the names of dozens of Crimean Tatar women who fought heroically at the front, in partisan units and as members of the underground. Many of them perished. The tragedy of the nation’s deportation and destruction in exile is described. Periya Dzhumaniyaziya, whose nine sons died at the front, herself died from hunger in exile.

The appeal calls for the return of the Crimean Tatars to their homeland. It is signed by about 1,000 people.
Information Bulletin No. 115 (207) of the Representatives of the Crimean Tatar Nation

Volume 207 of informational material about the Crimean Tatar people has been sent to the 25th Congress of the CPSU. It consists of:

(a) ‘Demands of the Crimean Tatar People’ (20,000 signatures);

(b) data on the history of the Crimean Tatars;

(c) statistics on the nation’s population from 1944 to 1974, compiled by means of independent censuses and inquiries.

Before 1944 there were 560,000 Crimean Tatars: 57,000 perished in the war against [German] fascism, 80,000 were in the regular army in May 1944; the remaining 420,000 people were deported from the Crimea; in the first years of exile the nation lost 46 per cent of those deported, i.e. 193,000 people; there are now 833,000 Crimean Tatars);

(d) statistics on the material loss suffered by the nation as a result of the deportation (the total losses amount to almost three million new roubles), on the destruction of cultural treasures, cemeteries and other national and religious treasures;

(e) photocopies of various documents which were handed in to the Central Committee of the CPSU between 1964 and 1974. (This volume of materials was also sent to the U N and the Italian and Rumanian Communist Parties — //Chronicle).

In addition, the following documents have been sent to the Central Committee of the CPSU:

  • a letter from veterans of the Second World War (331 signatures);
  • a letter describing the activities of the Crimean authorities against the Crimean Tatars (598 signatures);
  • and 160 individual letters.

It is reported that on 23 November a set of the above-mentioned documents was confiscated by officials of the KGB and MVD from the left luggage lockers at Moscow’s Kazan station.

*

Mustafa Khalilov, a representative of the Crimean Tatars, set off for Moscow but was taken off the plane on 20 November while it was still in Tashkent.

It is reported that on 23 November at the Novodevichy cemetery in Moscow a monument to the pilot Ametkhan Sultan, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, was ceremonially unveiled. The monument was built with funds collected by the Crimean Tatars and funds donated by the authorities of the Aviation Institute where Ametkhan Sultan had worked as an experimental pilot [prior to his death in World War II].

The information bulletin is signed by:

Mukhsim Osmanov, Zore Memetova, Nuri Kayaliev and Server Matrosov (all from Fergana Region); Amet Abduramanov, Mustafa Khalilov, Alpaz Seidametov, Umer Ilyasov and Ibraim Ibraimov (Tashkent Region); Akim Abdureshitov and Aishe Veliullayeva (Andizhan Region); Shevkhi Mukhteremov and Kadyr Ametov (Samarkand Region); and Dilyara Dadoi (from the Crimean Region).

[All except last signatory are from various parts of the Uzbek SSR.]