-You are a citizen of Russia, thus cannot be elected people’s deputy into Kurultay (National Parliament of Crimean Tatar people). But the political party headed by you has shown good results in the pre-election race.
- During the last Kurultay, which we showed live on ATR, I realized that much needs to be changed. Moreover, it should have been done long ago. After reviewing programs of other candidates our organization took a decision to run for Kurultay.
New composition of Kurultay should provide clear and transparent conditions for our co-existence in the society. We are all different, but in significant issues we should have the same key vector. Our vector should be directed at Crimea, that is, to do what is beneficial to our homeland. Of course, we should build pragmatic relations with Turkey and Russia, and Ukraine as well, but at the same time not to forget that at home we must build an understandable for other countries and people Crimean Tatar society.
-What exactly are you planning to do? What is your strategy?
- I believe that the credibility of Mejlis has been the credibility of its leader for quite a long while. Mustafa Dzhemilev had done a lot. He ‘pulled’ Mejlis to the necessary level. But other members of this body should also take responsibility. Assigned people should be responsible for education, culture, land allocation for returning Crimean Tatars etc.
Therefore, in the new structure of Kurultay we will try to change its present vertically integrated structure into horizontal and institutional. We would like such structure to work transparently. Although some members of other parties believe everything will remain the same with a slight change in the format, that’s all. That would be sad though….
-Elections of the new head of Mejlis are coming. Who will you support?
-We are negotiating with many organizations that are members of new Kurultay. It is important to hear how they plan to work. As I said we would like to change the old way of working.
-Remzi Ilyasov proposed to elect Mustafa Dzhemilev an Honorary Chairman of Kurultay. What do you think about this initiative?
- I think that within Remzi Ilyasov’s program, control is left to Mustafa Dzhemilev as it was before. I am against it. I want us to honor Mustafa Dzhemilev and let him retire. I say this as a Crimean Tatar and a representative of ‘Kuresh’ organization.
Today’s structure of Mejlis is very vertically integrated. One person can revoke decisions of all 33 of its members. I think that even Putin doesn’t have that much power as the head of Mejlis does… So we need to make sure everything is transparent and democratic.
I believe Kurultay delegates must report to Kurultay, what they have done during the years at power. I would also like to hear each of them announce what they are going to do next, i.e. share their programs.
-Can we expect that in future you will take the citizenship of Ukraine and we’ll possibly see you as a member of Ukrainian Parliament?
-Why not? There is only one ‘but’. I am for gradual processes. Let’s first solve what is to be solved now, pressing problems of our people.
So what, if we have one representative at the Ukrainian Parliament, like we have now Mustafa Dzhemilev… What’s next? I have a lot of questions here. After all, we cannot boast any major successes of Kurultay at this point. We have Olympic champions, journalists, historians, artists, musicians…Thanks to the new ATR we are discovering all these wonderful people. But we still need to make sure that everyone sees that Crimean Tatars follow the common idea. Now, this idea is actually emasculated. New Kurultay delegates must form it and then pass it on to Mejlis for implementation.
-Judging by your criticism, during the 20 years, Mejlis and other Crimean Tatar political forces have not done anything.
- I am not saying nothing has been done. But I can say- not much at all. I know that people may say about me that the easiest thing is to come from an outside and to criticize. Some may even add “While you were doing business in Moscow, we were fighting for a place under the sun here”. You know, this conversation should not be intended to bring claims and accusations to anyone. At this point we need to choose people who can work to get a result. Let’s support these people so they can move further. Moreover, when Kurultay delegates develop a strategy, we all can help with implementing it.
- During the elections of Kurultay delegates, it seemed that news blocks on ATR covered mostly activities of ‘Kuresh’ organization. What about other organizations? Does the channel have a censorship policy? I don’t mean advertising here, when anyone who pays, can appear on air, I am talking about newscasts.
- To begin with, no advertising themes can be released in ‘Zaman’ news blocks in principle. Those are the rules we have set for ourselves from the beginning. We adhere to the balance of opinions, that is, on every issue our journalists give at least two points of view. To be mentioned, because of this we have encountered threats, had our cable cut….
I have never interfered into the journalistic perspective on things.
In case with elections to Kurultay, ATR had a clear objective- to be neutral. All political forces, including ‘Kuresh’ paid for advertising. The price was the same for all. As for the news during ‘Zaman’ news blocks, political forces had to ‘create their news’ by their deeds to get into the newscast.
-When would the construction of a large sports complex in the district of Kamenka of Simferopol start? What would it be like?
-We are working on it. But we have a lot of questions. For example, why land which was reserved for community facilities construction has been sold to private people? Where can we now build a gym? There is no land for it, and we need at least two hectares.
Nevertheless, design of the complex is in process. At present we are still renting gyms all over Crimea. But our team is intended to get accomplished what we planned.
- As for ‘Haytarma’ movie, which is rightly regarded a milestone in the history of Crimean Tatars, how do you evaluate it? What positive and negative aspects can be distinguished?
-We planned it as a common prayer to Allah. It is a tribute to our grandparents. All those, who witnessed deportation themselves and selflessly starred in the movie, said that wanted to leave memories of these events to the next generations of Crimean Tatars.
-Director and the leading man in the movie Ahtem Seytablayev stated that he plans no further cooperation with you due to your refusal of presenting the movie at various film festivals. Can you add any comments?
-I think that commenting artists is difficult and unproductive. Ahtem was introduced to us by his brother Ayder Muradosilov, the creative director of ATR channel, who is responsible for participation in festivals as well. You can contact him, and he will tell you more if he wishes to.
Everyone has been paid for working on the movie. No one has claims. The contract did not specify promotion, PR, participation in festivals… Money from ‘Haytarma’ movie rental goes for the development of the children’s channel ‘Lale’. This is not a commercial movie, and it was clearly understood by all when we were working on it. By the way, this fact withheld many Crimean Tatar businessmen from financial participation in the movie. Many openly admitted this.
-And finally, what would you like to say to our readers?
- Read all Crimean Tatar, watch Crimean Tatar TV, and subscribe to Crimean Tatar newspapers. Go to Crimean Tatar theater, they are playing very good performances now. Bring your children to learn Kuresh, our national sport. Help to raise the Crimean Tatar culture and art. Without your support, it will not survive. And most importantly, do not be indifferent to all Crimean Tatar, our native….