Crimean Tatar paper “Kiyrym” again under threat
Radio Svoboda writes that this week the Crimean Tatar newspaper “Kiyrym” will probably not be published. According to its Chief Editor Benzir Mamutov, due to chronic underfunding from the State budget, the newspaper which is under the protection of the European Charter of Minority Languages, is in danger of closure.
“Kiyrym” is one of two languages published in the Crimean Tatar language. It was the first to be reinstated after the Deportation. Although it is not a State-owned newspaper, certain money is paid each year in implementation of legislation on support for ethnic minorities. 319 thousand UAH was earmarked for this in 2013.
No government funding has been forthcoming in the last half year.Mamutov says that this is not only a blow to the newspaper, but to the Crimean Tatar language. He notes that there are always problems with funding.
Natalya Belitser from the Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy in Kyiv points out that a similar crisis arose two years ago and it was only after a public campaign that government funding was renewed. She says that the government is systematically infringing its international obligations with regard to ethnic minorities. She calls the situation with the newspaper outrageous given that Crimean Tatars have no other homeland. The situation with the Crimean Tatars, she says, is therefore 100% Ukraine’s responsibility. Violations of the country’s obligations have extremely negative impact on Ukraine’s reputation and image in the world.