Crimean Tatars are a very interesting people that arose and formed on the territory of the Crimean peninsula and southern Ukraine. This is a people with a dramatic and ambiguous history. The article will deal with the number, as well as the cultural characteristics of the people. Who are the Crimean Tatars? Photos of this amazing people you can also find in this article.

General characteristics of the people

Crimea is an unusual multicultural land. Many peoples left their tangible mark here: the Scythians, Genoese, Greeks, Tatars, Ukrainians, Russians. In this article we will focus only on one of them. Crimean Tatars - who are they? And how did they appear in the Crimea?

People are referred to the Turkic group of the Altaic language family, its representatives communicate among themselves in the Crimean Tatar language. Crimean Tatars today (other names: Crimeans, Krymchaks, Murzaks) live in the territory of the Republic of Crimea, as well as in Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and other countries.

By faith, most of the Crimean Tatars belong to Sunni Muslims. The people have their own anthem, the coat of arms and the flag. The latter is a blue cloth, in the left upper corner of which is depicted a special sign of nomadic steppe tribes - tamga.

History of the Crimean Tatars

Ethnos is the direct ancestor of those peoples who at different times were associated with the Crimea. They represent a kind of ethnic mix, in the formation of which took part ancient tribes of the Taurus, Scythians and Sarmatians, Greeks and Romans, Circassians, Turks and Pechenegs. The process of forming an ethnos lasted more than one century. A cement mortar that has cemented this people into a single whole can be called a general isolated territory, Islam and one language.

The completion of the formation of the people coincided with the emergence of a powerful power - the Crimean Khanate, which lasted from 1441 to 1783. For most of this time the state was a vassal of the Ottoman Empire, with which the Crimean Khanate maintained allied ties.

In the era of the Crimean Khanate, the Crimean-Tatar culture experienced a period of its heyday. At the same time, majestic monuments of Crimean Tatar architecture were created, for example, the Khan's palace in Bakhchisaray or the Kebir-Dzhami Mosque in the historic area, Ak-Mosque in Simferopol.

It is worth noting that the history of the Crimean Tatars is very dramatic. The most tragic pages of her belong to the twentieth century.

Number and distribution

The total number of Crimean Tatars is very difficult to name. The approximate figure is 2 million people. The fact is that the Crimean Tatars, who left the peninsula in different years, assimilated and ceased to consider themselves as such. Therefore, it is difficult to establish their exact number in the world.

According to some Crimean-Tatar organizations, about 5 million Crimean Tatars live outside their historical homeland. Their most powerful diaspora is in Turkey (about 500 thousand, but the figure is very inaccurate) and in Uzbekistan (150 thousand). Also quite a lot of Crimean Tatars settled in Romania, Bulgaria. At least 250 thousand Crimean Tatars currently live in the Crimea.

The number of the Crimean-Tatar population in the territory of the Crimea is striking in different years. So, according to the census data for 1939, their number in the Crimea was 219 thousand people. And exactly after 20 years, in 1959, there were no more than 200 Crimean Tatars on the peninsula.

Most of the Crimean Tatars in the Crimea live today in the countryside (about 67%). The greatest density is observed in Simferopol, Bakhchisaray and Dzhankoysky districts.

Crimean Tatars, as a rule, freely speak three languages: Crimean-Tatar, Russian and Ukrainian. In addition, many of them know the Turkish and Azerbaijani languages, which are very close to the Crimean-Tatar language. More than 92% of the Crimean Tatars living on the peninsula, consider their native language as Crimean-Tatar.

Features of the Crimean Tatar culture

Crimean Tatars created a unique and distinctive culture. The literature of this people began to develop actively during the Crimean Khanate. Another of its flourishing is in the XIX century. Among the outstanding writers of the Crimean Tatar people are Abdullah Dermendji, Aider Osman, Jafar Gafar, Ervin Umerov, Liliya Budzhurova and others.

Traditional music of the people is based on old folklore songs and legends, as well as traditions of Islamic musical culture. Lyricism and softness are the main features of the Crimean-Tatar folk music.

Deportation of the Crimean Tatars

May 18, 1944 - a black date for every Crimean Tatar. It was on this day that the deportation of the Crimean Tatars began - an operation to forcibly evict them from the territory of the Crimean ASSR. Supervised the operation of the NKVD on the orders of Stalin. The official reason for the deportation was the cooperation of individual representatives of the people with Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

Thus, in the official position of the State Committee for Defense of the USSR it was pointed out that the Crimean Tatars deserted from the Red Army and joined Hitler's forces that were at war with the Soviet Union. Interestingly: those representatives of the Tatar people who fought in the Red Army were also deported, but after the war was over.

The deportation operation lasted two days, and about 30 thousand military personnel were involved in it. People, according to recollections of eyewitnesses, were given half an hour to gather, after which they were loaded into carriages and sent to the east. In total, more than 180 thousand people were transported, mainly to the territory of the Kostroma region, the Urals, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

This tragedy of the Crimean Tatar people is well shown in the film "Haytarma", which was shot in 2012. By the way, this is the first and so far the only full-length Crimean-Tatar film.

Return of the people to their historical homeland

Crimean Tatars were forbidden to return to their homeland until 1989. National movements for the right to return to Crimea began to emerge in the 60s of the twentieth century. One of the leaders of these movements was Mustafa Dzhemilev.

The rehabilitation of the Crimean Tatars dates back to 1989, when the Supreme Soviet of the USSR declared deportation illegal. After that the Crimean Tatars began to return actively to their homeland. For today in Crimea there are about 260 thousand Crimean Tatars (this makes 13% of all population of peninsula). However, returning to the peninsula, people are faced with a lot of problems. The most acute among them is unemployment and the absence of land.


Amazing and interesting people - Crimean Tatars! The photos presented in the article only confirm these words. This is a people with a difficult history and a rich culture, which, no doubt, makes the Crimea even more unique and interesting for tourists region.