Why Crimean Tatar community in Romania?


Crimean Tatars are indigenous people of Crimea, Turkic by origin and Muslim by religion. For and extended period of time (between XIII and XVIII centuries), Crimean Tatar people had their statehood known as the Crimean Khanate until the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Empire in 1783. Since then, thousands of Crimean Tatars were forced to leave their motherland. Many of them settled in Romania and Turkey.
I have always been fascinated by the Crimean Tatar culture. I got my high school education at the Tankovoye boarding school (Crimea, Ukraine) founded and predominantly funded by a Turkish educational institution. Although I am not Crimean Tatar myself, many of my school friends were Crimean Tatars. It was the first time I got exposed to the Turkish and Crimean Tatar cultures and languages.
Upon my graduation from the Tankovoye boarding school I pursued by education at the Crimean Engineering Pedagogical University, where I got my BA (2007) and specialist’s degree (2008) with double-major in English and Crimean Tatar. My graduate school topic is the literature of the Crimean Tatar community of Romania in 1897-1940. Most of the people, even within the Crimean Tatar community know little if anything about the literature of the Crimean Tatars living in Romania. The fact is, the Crimean Tatar literature created in the prewar period remained under taboo until the collapse of the Socialist government of Ceausescu. Even then, that little that we know about the Crimean Tatar literature in Romania, is just a visible part of iceberg, which requires further exploration.
In August-September 2012, I went to Romania (Constanta and Bucharest) to gather information on the Crimean Tatar literature. I came back with approximately 2000 copies from documents and 20 newspapers and magazines which reveal new facts about the Crimean Tatar community and its literature in late XIX – early XX centuries. Many of the materials found there I will continue researching and publishing on this blog and other resources on Internet. So, feel free to spread the word (remember to refer to the blog, though :-))! This project is open to everybody, who feels enthusiastic about the literary heritage of Crimean Tatars and Balkan Turks. I am willing to share my materials so that you could contribute to this work, as translators, transliterators, analysts, reviewers, critics and contributors. Together, we can revive Crimean Tatar literature of Romania!
I am grateful for support to the local members of the Crimean Tatar community who have assisted me in this research work, namely Güner Akmolla, Nihat Osman, Metin Ömer, Enver and Nedret Mahmut, Burhan Şerfeddin, Nevzat Yusuf Sarıgöl and the entire Crimean Tatar community of Bucharest. I would also like to express my gratitude to Corina Apostoleaunu, the head of the Biblioteca Judeteana “I.N.Roman”, Constanta who went beyond her professional obligations to help me find the Crimean Tatar newspapers and magazines published in 1897-1940. I owe a lot to an American researcher of Romanian origin, Catalina Hunt, who has provided her assistance and professional expertise while I was preparing for my trip to Romania.
With that, I express my gratitude to Tair Kerim, Ismail Kerim, Refat Abduljemil, Timur Akmolla, Nariman Abdulvaap, Nariman Seityahya, who helped me greatly with transliteration of the the original texts published in Arabic script to the Modern Crimean Tatar.

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