103rd anniversary of Noman Chelebidzhikhan's death

Canan Kevser
23 February 2021, 15:00
Canan Kevser
23 February 2021, 15:00

Today, February 23, marks 103 years since the death of the Noman Chelebidzhikhan, a prominent figure in Crimean Tatar history, the first democratically elected Tavrian mufti, the Head of the Crimean Tatar national government in 1917-1918, writer, poet, author of the national anthem.

He was the first Mufti of the Muslims of Crimea, Lithuania, Poland, the initiator of the First Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people, the first Head of the Crimean People's Republic.

Noman Chelebidzhikhan was born in 1885 in the family of Ibrahim Chelebi, Imam of the mosque in the village of Büyük Sunaq in Chongar region of the Crimea. He received his primary education at a rural school, and continued his studies at the Aqçora madrasah, and later in the Zincirli madrasah.

He received a higher legal and theological education at the University of Istanbul, where he founded several organizations during his studies: Yaş Tatar Yazıcılar Cıyını ("Young Tatar Writers 'Society"), "Vatan" (Homeland) and "Crimean Tatar Students' Youth".

He returned to Crimea at the beginning of the First World War and developed a strategy for national struggle.

In March 1917, the First All-Crimean Muslim Congress was held, at which the Provisional Crimean-Muslim Executive Committee was established. Noman Chelebidzhikhan was elected Chairman of the committee. At the same time, he became the Mufti of the Muslims of Crimea.

Noman Chelebidzhikhan advocated the equality of all peoples who live in Crimea.

He was also a poet and writer. Lines of his poetry "Ant Etkenmen (I've Pledged)" later became the lyrics of the national anthem of Crimean Tatars.

After the Bolsheviks, who did not recognize the Crimean Tatar national government, came to power on January 26, 1918, Noman Chelebidzhikhan was arrested. On February 23 of the same year, the Bolsheviks killed him and threw his body into the Black Sea.