The Crimean Tatars are a very interesting people that emerged and formed on the territory of the Crimea peninsula and southern Ukraine. This is a people with a dramatic and controversial history. The article will discuss 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: 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?

The people belong to the Turkic group of the Altai language family, its representatives communicate with each other in the Crimean Tatar language. The 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 are Sunni Muslims. People have their own anthem, coat of arms and flag. The latter is a blue cloth, in the upper left corner of which is a special sign of nomadic steppe tribes - tamga.

History of the Crimean Tatars

Ethnos is a direct ancestor of those peoples who at different times were associated with the Crimea. They are a kind of ethnic mix, in the formation of which the ancient tribes of the Taurians, the Scythians and Sarmatians, the Greeks and Romans, the Circassians, the Turks and the Pechenegs took part. The process of formation of the ethnos lasted for more than one century. Cement mortar, fastened this nation together, can be called a common separate territory, Islam and one language.

The completion of the process of the formation of the people coincided with the emergence of a powerful power - the Crimean Khanate, which existed 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 epoch of the Crimean Khanate, the Crimean Tatar culture experienced its peak. At the same time, majestic monuments of the Crimean-Tatar architecture were created, for example, the Khan's palace in Bakhchisarai or the Kebir-Jami mosque in the historic district, the Ak-Mosque in Simferopol.

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

Population and distribution

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

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 Crimea.

It affects the number of the Crimean Tatar population in the Crimea in different years. So, according to the census for 1939, their number in the Crimea was 219 thousand people. And exactly 20 years later, in 1959, there were no more than 200 Crimean Tatars on the peninsula.

The main part of the Crimean Tatars in Crimea today lives in rural areas (about 67%). Their greatest density is observed in Simferopol, Bakhchsarai and Dzhankoy regions.

Crimean Tatars, as a rule, are fluent in three languages: Crimean-Tatar, Russian and Ukrainian. In addition, many of them know Turkish and Azerbaijani languages, which are very close to the Crimean Tatar. Over 92% of Crimean Tatars living on the peninsula consider Crimean Tatar as their mother tongue.

Features of the Crimean Tatar culture

Crimean Tatars created a unique and distinctive culture. The literature of this nation began to actively develop during the Crimean Khanate. Another flowering of it falls on the XIX century. Among the outstanding writers of the Crimean Tatar people are Abdulla Dermendzhy, Ayder Osman, Jafer Gafar, Erwin Umerov, Liliya Buzhurova and others.

The traditional folk music is based on old folk 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 Crimean Tatars

May 18, 1944 is a black date for each 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. Led the operation of the NKVD on the orders of I. 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 on Defense of the USSR, it was indicated that the Crimean Tatars had deserted from the Red Army and joined the Hitlerite units fighting against the Soviet Union. What is interesting: those representatives of the Tatar people who fought in the Red Army were also deported, but after the end of the war.

The deportation operation lasted two days, and about 30 thousand soldiers were involved in it. According to eyewitnesses, people were given half an hour to pack, after which they were loaded into wagons and sent to the east. In total, over 180 thousand people were exported, 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 movie “Haytarma”, which was filmed 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 historic homeland

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

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


Amazing and interesting people - the Crimean Tatars! The photos presented in the article only confirm these words. This is a people with a difficult history and rich culture, which, without doubt, makes the Crimea even more unique and interesting for tourists region.