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In Support of the Crimean Tatar language newspaper Kiyrym”

08.07.2011   

An appeal has been sent to the President, Prime Minister and Head of the Crimean Council of Ministers regarding “the dramatic situation which has emerged with respect to one of the two newspapers in the Crimean Tatar language - Kiyrym”.

“22 years ago, on 7 July 1989, a newspaper in the Crimean Tatar language appeared for the first time following the criminal Deportation of 1944.  From the end of 1991 the newspaper was financed from the Crimean Budget, allocated for the return and settlement programme for Crimean repatriants, but was of an irregular and unpredictable nature.  The debts at the beginning of the year for printing and wage arrears became chronic problems.

The situation did not change radically after 2004 when they managed to transfer the paper to State funding with considerably extending financing, with this normally beginning at the end of March or beginning of April. Although due to the overall increase in financing, in that year the paper began coming out twice a week.

Since January 2011 the newspaper’s financing has virtually stopped which did not happen even in the hardest-hit crisis periods of the 1990s. Of the planned 375 thousand UAH from public funding (providing staff with the minimum wage) over the last 7 months the paper has received nothing.

The newspaper Kiyrym” provides support and consolidation of the language milieu in approximately four thousand Crimean families. This is particularly important If we consider the fact that UNESCO has placed the Crimean Tatar language on the list of disappearing languages.

The ethnic press, particularly of a people without many representatives, cannot live without subsidies, cannot function as a business project. Support for the ethnic press is international and European practice. The Ukrainian state also guarantees lawful support for periodic publications coming out in languages of national minorities.

We ask for your involvement in promoting a speedy professional resolution concerning the newspaper Kiyrym”. We are convinced that such resolution is a matter of honour and reputation of the Ukrainian regime in power.

The appeal is signed by Natalya Belytser from the Pylyp Orlyk Institute of Democracy; Gulmara Bekirova, Head of the Department of the History of Crimean Engineering-Pedagogical universities in Simferopol; Yevhen Zakharov, Kharkiv Human Rights Group

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