April 17, 1938 is inscribed in black letters in the history of the Crimean Tatars. At this point, for three days, the best representatives of the Crimean Tatar intelligentsia were shot by the Soviet NKVD executioners in the dungeons of the Simferopol city prison.
All of them were charged on criminal cases as traitors to the homeland and supporters of the anti-Soviet regime. The brightest public figures, scientists and representatives of the political elite of the people were accused of espionage and nationalism. Hundreds of representatives of the Crimean Tatar intelligentsia were sent to concentration camps over such accusations.
At that time Stalin's repression against the Crimean Tatars was gaining momentum. This was another attempt of a criminal communist regime to muffle the voice of the Crimean Tatar people.
The exact number of representatives of the Crimean Tatar intelligentsia perished during those three days is still unknown, as well as the exact place where their bodies are buried. According to the available information, among the executed Crimean Tatars were writer, journalist, participant of the First Kurultai of the Crimean Tatar people Asan Sabri Aivazov, writer Ilyas Tarkhan, writer, translator and teacher Osman Akchokrakli, director of the Bakhchysarai Palace Museum, ethnographer Usein Bodaninsky, linguist and teacher Yagya Bayrashevsky, former People's Commissar of Agriculture Suleiman Idrisov, poet and philologist Abdulla Lyatif-zade, editor, publicist, public figure Mamut Nedim, chairman of the Crimean government in 1929-1937 Abduraim Samedinov, chairman of the Executive Committee Central Council of the Crimean ASSR Ilyas Tarkhan and many others.
Every year before the Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014, on the initiative of the Crimean Tatar youth, Muslims on the peninsula conducted a prayer service in memory of the compatriots who died on April 17, 1938.