Meeting dedicated to 96th anniversary of death of Crimean Tatar politician, lawyer, and Mufti of Crimean Moslems Noman Chelebicihan took place in Simferopol on Feb 23.

About 15 thousand of Crimeans attended the event, among them Crimean Tatars, Russians and Ukrainians who came to commemorate the victims of totalitarian regimes.

The meeting traditionally started with Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar anthems.

Crimean Mufti Emirali Ablaev, Head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate in Crimea Vladyka Kliment, Crimean MP Leonid Pilunskiy and coordinator of Crimean Euromaidan Sergey Kovalskiy made a speech at the event.

In his speech, head of Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov noted that this day is a mourning day not for Crimean Tatars only.

“Today is a mourning day .On Feb. 23, 1918 Crimean Tatar politician, Mufti of Crimean Moslems Noman Chelebicihan was brutally killed. He was killed for his love to Homeland and his people.

But today we also commemorate all those who were killed in violent clashes in Kyiv. They loved Ukraine. They fought for their future, future of their children.”- Chubarov noted.

After Chubarov’s speech there was one minute's silence in remembrance of Noman Chelebicihan and victims of Kyiv clashes.

Note: Noman Chelebicihan (1885–1918) was a Crimean Tatar politician, lawyer, Mufti of Crimean Moslems, and writer. He was the first President of the short-lived independent Crimean People's Republic, established on November 26 (December 9 under the Gregorian Calendar), 1917. He is known for having written the poem "Ant etkenmen" ("I've pledged"), which became the Crimean Tatar national anthem. His early death at the hands of Bolshevik forces during the Russian Civil War is still commemorated by Crimean Tatars.