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TAG: On the 77th anniversary of the deportation, the wound of the Crimean Tatars continues to bleed

On May 18, 1944, 77 years ago, Crimean Tatar Turks were deported from Crimea to Siberia and Central Asia in train carriages in inhumane conditions.

Crimean Tatars, mostly vulnerable elderly, children and women, who had been gathered at midnight from their homelands at the orders of the leader of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin, were loaded into wagons carrying animals without being allowed to take anything with them. Crimean Tatars were not allowed to move even a few kilometres away from their exiled territory for the first decade. Forty-six percent of exiled Crimean Tatars have died.

Since 1989, the Crimean Tatars have returned from their exiles to Crimea by their own means. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the homeland of the Crimean Tatars became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine. Thousands of Crimean Tatars were forced to leave Crimea as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014. The leader of the Crimean Tatars Mustafa Abdülcemil Kırımoğlu and several prominent figures in the Crimean Tatar case were banned by Russia from entering Crimea, while the activities of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (QTMM), a member of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), were banned. Thousands of Crimean Tatars have been forced to leave Crimea under pressure from the Russian government.

To mark the 77th anniversary of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars, commemorative events will be held in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine, Turkey and other countries where Crimean Tatars live, and events will be watched live online.

As the Working Group of Turkic Minorities/Communities (TAG) in FUEN, we wholeheartedly share the pain of the Crimean Tatars in the 77th anniversary of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatars, we commemorate the Crimean Tatars who lost their lives in exile and wish that such suffering never happens again.

*Image: www.qha.com.tr