The British Association of Crimean Tatars commemorated victims of the May 18, 1944 Deportation at the World Islamic League’s mosque in London.
Attila Abadzhioglu’s opening speech, in which he welcomed all the guests, was followed by an address of Melek Maksudoglu, representative of the British Association of Crimean Tatars in England. In it, she emphasized the importance of May 18 - the most tragic day for the Crimean Tatar people:
“Among those deported were women, children and the elderly. But our people grew stronger and returned to their homeland - Crimea. Now we pray to God so he helps our people facing this difficult situation. We pray in memory of those who died during the deportation and starved to death in labor camps".
Oleg Pavlishin, Ukraine's Ambassador to the UK, also addressed the gathering:
“It is a great honor for me to be here with you. I deeply sympathize with you because our nation also experienced a lot of tragedies throughout its history. We share the pain of the Crimean Tatars. We should never forget our past. And we should not let others forget it as well. Only then can we be a strong nation”.
After reading a prayer in memory of the dead, the guests were treated to various meals.
Just a reminder: After being accused of collaboration with the Nazis, the Crimean Tatar people were deported on May 18, 1944. Of 238,000 deported, mostly elderly people, women and children, 46% died in the first years in exile.