Descendants of Crimean Greeks want to return to Crimea

2 October 2013 15:04
BAKCHISARAY (QHA) - Descendants of Crimean Greeks (Urums), deported from Crimea in the 18th century, want to receive land in Bakchisaray, Crimea for constructing Greek settlements. Such an appeal on behalf of the Union of Greeks “Tavrida” was made by head of Bakchisaray society of Crimean Greeks Mikhail Ivanov during his meeting with Mayor of Bakchisaray Konstantin Rubanenko. At the special meeting held in February 2013 in Yalta, 93 delegates, descendants of Crimean Greeks from all over Ukraine discussed the issue of resettlement of Crimean Greeks at their homeland and have prepared a corresponding appeal. The executive committee of Bakchisaray city council has approved the initiative to establish settlements for Greeks, who at present reside in the eastern part of Ukraine, reports the city council’s press service. In turn, Mayor of Bakchisaray expressed his readiness to assist in settling this issue, noting he would do what is in his competency. Note: Historically, Greek population of Crimea was represented by two groups, one of which spoke Greek language, and another one- Crimean Tatar. Both groups were descendants of Greek colonists, who came to peninsula in the IV century. In 1777, shortly before the fall of the Crimean Khanate, Catherine the Great ordered all Greeks from the peninsula to be deported to North Azov. In 1780 they have founded the city of Mariupol and several settlements there. Since then, this ethnic group is known as North Azovian or Mariupol Greeks. Urum is a broad historical term that was used by some Turkic-speaking peoples (Turks, Crimean Tatars) to define Greeks who lived in Muslim states, particularly in the Ottoman Empire and Crimea. In contemporary ethnography, the term Urum (or Urum Greek) applies only to Turkic-speaking Greek population.