ANKARA (QHA) -

The process of diaspora formation is based on many factors and grounds. Some diasporas are formed for socio-economic reasons. And in most cases such diasporas are created according to the free will and desire of the people or groups.

This is exactly what happened in the diasporas, who settled on the American and European continents with the hope of both a more prosperous life and a promising future. Thus, examples of Chinese, Italian, Ukrainian and diasporas of other peoples in America can be used to illustrate this point. A fairly large diaspora was formed by Turkish workers both in Europe and in other countries of the world, where they came for a job. So, the diasporas, formed for socio-economic reasons, are quite common.

But the Crimean Tatar diaspora is of a rare type. Like the diasporas of Eastern Turkistan and the Caucasian peoples, the Crimean Tatar diaspora was not formed due to socio-economic reasons or the will of the people. It was formed under duress.

Since the very beginning of the occupation of the Crimea, Russia has begun to implement the policy of Russification and elimination of any Crimean Tatar manifestations on the peninsula, as far as the opportunities of the 18th century allowed. The policy lied in confiscation of property, compulsory conversion to another religion, deprivation of any opportunity to receive education, enslavement, repression of the leaders of the people and other methods. Thus, step by step in the shortest time the goal set for the elimination of the Crimean Tatar existence was achieved. The Russian state terror established an ideology in the Crimea, incompatible with the national and religious beliefs of the Crimean Tatar people.

Forced emigration of the Crimean Tatar people as single emigrants or whole groups, which began in the first 50 years of occupation, turned into a mass phenomenon due to increased pressure on Crimean Tatars during the Crimean War (1853-1856), when the Russian regime consolidated its position on the peninsula. It was then, that the Russian regime discussed the deportation of the Crimean Tatars for the first time.

However, due to insufficient technical infrastructure, the deportation project of a whole people from the Crimea was postponed for 80 years. The heavy defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War of 1876-1877 broke all the hopes of the Crimean Tatars. At the same time, it was the reason and the cause for recent mass waves of emigration from the Crimea.

They included those Crimean Tatars who were subjected to harassment of Russian policies aimed at depriving them of their lands, depletion, impossibility to obtain education, violent Russification, forced conversion and recruitment into the army.

Since it is impossible to calculate the exact number of Crimean Tatars who left the Crimea during deportation and the number of people who died in it, these processes are not particularly discussed. According to various estimates, more than a million Crimean Tatars were forced to leave the Crimea in forced emigration (which was not called deportation), leaving their homes, settlements, neighbors and, most importantly, their Motherland. Thousands of them died because of the age, diseases, hunger and fatigue. Some also died because of the overturned ships in the Black Sea.

The stories told by the grandfathers of Professor Ahmet Ihsan Kırımli described the cases when the whole family was ready to start off, grandparents gathered their children and grandchildren and said: "My dear children. I'll stay at home. My grave will be in this village. And flowers will grow on it. And one day my great-grandchildren will come back here to enjoy the fragrance of these flowers!" And so, those who were forced to leave the Crimea, kept the hope for returning to their Homeland ...

Secretary of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars

Namyk Kemal Bayar

QHA