History - Devlet Saray Museum

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Part 1: General information about Crimean Tatars

Crimean Tatars are the indigenous people of Crimea. Their number in the countries of the former USSR is approximately 500 thousand people (according to preliminary estimates). About 270 thousand Crimean Tatars returned to Crimea from deportation. The remaining part lives in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia. There are quite large diasporas of Crimean Tatars in Turkey, Romania, and the United States.

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History timeline

  • 1989 - Until now

    Repatriation period (1989 — present)

    The return of Crimean Tatars to their homeland, passing in a complex socio-political and socio-economic conditions, coincides with their integration into the Crimean and Ukrainian society, revival of national culture and national education system, establishing a social life in the form of the national government. By 2004, more than 270 thousand Crimean Tatars had returned to Crimea. However, the number ...

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  • 1944 - 1989

    Period of deportation and exile (1944 — 1989)

    During the Second world war in 1944, the Soviet regime deported more than 200,000 Crimean Tatars from Crimea, mostly women, children, and the elderly, and dispersed them to the Northern regions of Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. During the expulsion, the material and spiritual values of the people were destroyed. In the conditions of special settlement, up to 30% of Crimean Tatars died from hunger and disease by 1946.

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  • 1917 - 1944

    Period of the Soviet Union (1917 — 1944)

    The first attempt of the Crimean Tatars to restore their national statehood was forcibly interrupted by the defeat of the first Crimean Tatar Kurultai by the Bolsheviks in January 1918. On October 18, 1921, the Crimean ASSR was created. But the content of the formed autonomy as the Crimean Tatar national-territorial was veiled. Despite the apparent participation of the Crimean Tatars in the management of the autonomy, in fact, everything was regulated by the strict Central policy of the...

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  • 1783 - 1917

    Colonial period (1783 — 1917)

    The entry of Colonial period is a time of ethnic deformations and tragedies for the Crimean Tatars. The political, demographic and ethnic spheres of the Crimean Tatar people have undergone drastic changes. The Crimean Tatars lost their statehood and the region`s economy was destroyed. There were two waves of mass emigration of the indigenous population: in 1783-1800 and 1850-1860. Before the annexation of Crimea, Russia periodically used various pretexts to send troops into the ...

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  • Mid XV cent. 1783

    Period of the Crimean khanate (mid XV — 1783)

    With the emergence of the Crimean khanate in the first half of the XV century (as a result of the victory over the Great Horde) and the formation of territorial possessions of the Kipchak tribes—beylik (principalities)-a zone of stable Turkic-Muslim influence (cultural, linguistic and religious) on the population of Crimea and the Northern black sea region is created. By the first half of the XVI century, the formation of the ethnic core of the Crimean Tatar people was ...

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  • XIII - XV cent.

    The Golden Horde period (the second half of the XIII — first half of the XV century)

    This is the time of the most active ethnic processes. Turkization, which covered large territories, the rapid spread of Islam, and the emergence of feudal principalities contributed to the formation of sub-ethnic groups of Crimean Tatars (South bankers, mountaineers, and steppe dwellers). A certain catalyst was the Mongols, who moved in the beginning of the XIII century from Central Asia ...

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  • IX - XIII cent.

    Pecheneg-Kipchak period (end of IX — middle of XIII century)

    A new wave of Turks, this time Pechenegs and Kipchaks, increases the Turkization of the gotalan population of Crimea. Kipchaks become the basis for the formation of a sub-ethnic group of steppe Crimean Tatars. After defeating the Khazar Khaganate, in the second half of the X century, the Pechenegs entered Crimea. They destroyed a number of settlements of the Turkic-Bulgars of the foothill Crimea, whose ...

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  • VII - X cent.

    Khazar period (second half of VII — second half of X century)

    The process of participation of the Turkic tribes together with the non-Turkic population in the formation of the Caucasian medieval ethnos of the Crimea continued. During the reign of the Khazars in the Northern black sea region, the kutrigurs in the second half of the VII—first half of the VIII century. penetrate into the Crimea and develop the foothills, where their number reaches 700 families. They gradually populate the valleys of the Chorgun (black), Bodrak ...

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  • VI - VII cent.

    Turkic-Bulgarian period (The 40s of the VI — first half of the VII century)

    This period is characterized by the integration of Turkic tribes among the non-Turkic population of the Peninsula. In the second half of the V century. in the area of Chersonesos, the akatsir Turks appeared. At the end of the fifth century, they were displaced by the Turkic-Bulgarian utigur tribe, which occupied the ...

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  • IV - VI cent.

    The Hun period (the last quarter of the IV — 30s of the VI century)

    The first appearance of Turkic-speaking tribes in Crimea and the beginning of Turkization of the local population are associated with the Huns. The Huns open the first pages of the Turkic history of the Crimea, which replaced the millennial domination of the Iranian tribes (Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, etc.). The Huns gave an impetus to the very slow and long-lasting formation of the ethnic ...

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The basis of the anthropological type of the Crimean Tatars are representatives of the Caucasian race; some groups have small Mongoloid admixtures. The Crimean Tatar language belongs to the Kypchak-Polovtsian subgroup of the Kypchak group and belongs to the Turkic languages. The main dialects are Northern (steppe), middle (mountain), and southern (coastal). Before 1928, the script was based on the Arabic alphabet, since 1928 — on the Latin alphabet, and since 1938 — on the Cyrillic alphabet. The faithful Crimean Tatars are Sunni Muslims.

The ethnic core of the people was formed in the IV—XVI centuries as a result of the synthesis (connection, merger) of non-Turkic and Turkic tribes. This core is localized in the mountainous and foothill Crimea. According to researchers, "by the end of the X century, the centuries-old assimilation process of the formation of the gornokrymsky people was completed. It has absorbed the Alanian, Gothic, romaic and Bulgar components" (AI Aibabin). In the XI-XVI centuries. Kipchak and other Turkic tribes are joining the ethnic process in Crimea. The main means of consolidation was to spread the Turkic language and Islam among the multiethnic population of the medieval Crimea, especially intensified in the period of the Crimean khanate (XV—XVIII centuries). Turkic-speaking Muslim population of the Peninsula had self - "kirimli" (Crimeans). The currently used ethnonym "Crimean Tatars" appeared as a name given by neighboring peoples. It was used in Russia and European countries, and only after the deportation from the middle of the XX century. it became actively used by the people themselves. Evidence of the complex ethnic history of the Crimean Tatars are sub-ethnic groups: the steppes, highlanders and South bankers. Differences in physical type, economic activity, traditional culture, and dialect features of the language were quite clearly maintained by these groups until the deportation of the people in 1944.

The main occupations of the Crimean Tatars in the mountain-forest zone of the Peninsula were agriculture (field farming, gardening, viticulture, horticulture, tobacco farming, beekeeping) and pasture (on yayly) cattle breeding, in the steppe part-grain farming and cattle breeding. Most of the centers of craft production were concentrated in the cities and villages of the mountain forest zone. The most famous products of Crimean Tatar artisans were products made of Morocco leather, kilims-carpets, horse harnesses and saddles, weapons, copper dishes, jewelry.

The culture of the Crimean Tatars is rich and diverse. Its roots go mainly to Turkic and non-Turkic ancestors, but it was also influenced by neighboring peoples through trade, cultural and religious contacts.

The spiritual culture of the Crimean Tatars is based on Islam, which was established in the Crimea during the XIII—XV centuries. In accordance with the Muslim canons, the main rites are performed: nikyah (marriage), genaze (funeral), sunnet (circumcision). The main Islamic holidays are Oraza Bayram (celebrated at the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, the great lent of the faithful) and Eid al-Adha (the feast of sacrifice).

Pre-Muslim elements are also organically intertwined in the Crimean Tatar culture. Especially stable was the pagan Pantheon with the Supreme deity Tengri, inherited from the Turkic ancestors of the people. Among the steppe Crimean Tatars, the term Tengri is used as the second name of the God Alla, and the blue color - the symbol of the Supreme deity of the Turks - is the color of the national flag of the Crimean Tatars. Favorite pre-Muslim holidays-Navrez (new year, celebrated on the day of the spring equinox-March 22), Khydyrlez (celebrated in the 5-6 days of the first week of may and is dedicated to the completion of spring sowing and driving livestock to summer pastures), derviza (the end of the economic year, celebrated on the day of the autumn equinox — September 22).

The Crimean Tatars lost their statehood at the end of the XVIII century. As part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet state, an ethnic group is subjected to national and cultural oppression and physical displacement from its historical homeland. The culmination of this policy is the total deportation of the Crimean Tatar people in 1944. Women, old people, and children were loaded into freight cars and sent to the Urals, the Volga region, Siberia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and other regions of the USSR. Later, soldiers and officers who were demobilized from the front were deported to them.

Until 1956, the people lived in special settlements under a curfew. During the deportation and the first years of exile, the Crimean Tatar people, according to the Crimean Tatar national movement, lost 46.2% of the total number.

But even after the curfew is lifted, the Crimean Tatar people are prohibited from returning to Crimea. Since the mid-1950s, a democratic National movement for returning to the historical Homeland has been formed. It was one of the most active and mass national movements in the Soviet Union.

In 1987-1989, Crimean Tatars held a series of demonstrations, rallies, strikes and other non-violent actions demanding that their national issue be resolved. Despite the obstacles created by the authorities, the mass self-return of the people to Crimea begins. It is accompanied by many problems of a political, legal, and socio-economic nature. Crimean Tatars are creating a system of national self — government bodies in Crimea, headed by the national Congress — Kurultai and a representative body-the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people.

The beginning of the national and cultural rise of the Crimean Tatars allows us to hope for a successful outcome of the repatriation process and the restoration of the rights of the indigenous people.




Features of ethnogenesis and ethnic history of the people.

Questions of ethnogenesis are among the most complex problems of history. This observation is particularly true in the regions where ethnic processes were most intense. These include Crimea, where the Turkic - speaking people-the Crimean Tatars-were formed.

Ethnic processes in Crimea have their own specifics. One of the notable features of the ethnogenesis of the Crimean Tatars was the synthesis of two extremely different ethnic components: indigenous non-Turkic agricultural peoples and nomadic Turkic tribes.

As a result of this synthesis, the first component, despite its numerical predominance, was gradually turkized and Islamized, that is, its cultural assimilation took place. At the same time, non — Turkic agricultural ethnic groups have generally preserved their ethnographic and anthropological characteristics, which are observed in extant sub-ethnic groups of Crimean Tatars-South bankers, mountaineers and foothill residents.

An ethnic phenomenon can also be called the fact that, despite the intensive migration of various Turkic tribes to the Crimea in the IV—XVII centuries, the Kipchaks formed the basis of the steppe Crimean Tatars.

Against this background, the formation of the ethnic core of the Crimean Tatar people took place during the millennia of Crimean history, from the IV to the XVI century.

The nature of the ethnic process was determined by the geographical location and natural conditions of the Crimea (see map # 1). The Peninsula is connected by the Perekop isthmus with the Eurasian steppes, washed by the Black sea to the West and South, and the sea of Azov to the East. Its area is 26 thousand square km, including the steppe part-19165 square km, mountain-5812 square km. km and the southern coast — 873 sq. km. thanks to trade routes, Crimea has been an economic bridge between North and South, East and West since ancient times. Landscape and climatic features of the Peninsula allow you to engage in agriculture, fishing, trade, nomadic and herding cattle.

Due to the fact that nomadic tribes have had a significant impact on ethnic processes in the Crimea, we note that the nomad lifestyle is rigidly linked to the "feeding" landscape. The number of nomads and semi-nomads per 1 sq. km is strictly limited and depends on the yield of grasses, the corresponding number of livestock and is actually a constant value. An increase in the number is possible under favorable conditions by a maximum of two times, while farmers with an increasing population can expand the area of cultivated land at the expense of the adjacent undeveloped territory. Therefore, with an increase in the population in the steppe part, nomads were most often forced to seek pastures outside the Peninsula or change their economic and cultural type (to semi-nomads).

Thus, landscape and geographical features influenced the fate of nomadic tribes that entered the Peninsula, both non-Turkic (Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, etc.) and Turkic (Turco-Bulgars, Pechenegs, Kipchaks). Newcomers nomadic tribes gradually became farmers, contributing to the growth of the settled population. The number of nomadic population (since the fourth century they were Turkic tribes) could only increase up to a certain limit.

Throughout the ancient and medieval history of the Crimea, including during the Crimean khanate, the agricultural population was predominant.

Ethnographic characteristics of the Crimean Tatars.

Crimean Tatars are the Turkic Muslim indigenous population of Crimea. Self — of kyrymly (Crimeans — in Russian translation), the neighbouring peoples called them the Crimean Tatars. The ethnonym " Crimean Tatars "has already firmly entered the national consciousness of the people and is now widely used, perhaps even to a greater extent than the ethnonym" kyrymly "(see "Ethnonym" Tatars "and the ethnos"Crimean Tatars").

In 1941, the number of Crimean Tatars was more than 200 thousand people, 2/3 of them lived in the mountain-forest part of the Peninsula and 1/3-in the steppe.

In 1944, the people were completely deported to the Northern regions of Russia, Central Asia, and Kazakhstan. Now the total number of Crimean Tatars according to preliminary estimates is about 450-500 thousand people. After the deportation, more than 270 thousand people returned to Crimea, while the rest live in places of exile: in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia.

The basis of the anthropological type is made up of representatives of the Caucasian race, some groups have small Mongoloid admixtures.

The diversity of landscape and climatic conditions of the Peninsula, its unique position at the intersection of the most important trade and cultural routes, and its rich ethnic roots determined the peculiarities of the language, religion, material and spiritual culture of the Crimean Tatars.

Stages of the ethnic history of the Crimean Tatars.

Archaeological, anthropological, written evidence, linguistics and partly ethnographic data allow us to identify a number of stages in the ethnic history of the people. When determining such stages, the ethnopolitical situation was taken into account, which influenced such large-scale and defining processes for the Crimea as the Turkization and Islamization of the indigenous non-Turkic population.

But even before the entry of the early Turks, serious ethnopolitical changes took place on the Peninsula. In the second half of the third century ad, the Goths and Alans defeated the late Scythian state, whose population moved to the mountainous forest zone of the Peninsula. A multi-ethnic Scythian-Sarmatian and goth-Alanian community began to form here.

The new emerging community was predominantly Iranian-speaking, and culturally it incorporated many Gothic and Hellenistic components. At the beginning of the early middle ages, the assimilation of the ancient Greeks began, which, however, did not extend to the Greeks of Chersonesus. The basis of the anthropological type of this community were long-faced and a smaller part — broad-faced Caucasians. Germanic tribes of Goths, BORANS (vorans) settled near the Alans in the interfluve of Belbek and Chorgun (Chernaya), on the southern Bank and in the Eastern Crimea.

In the historical memory of the Crimean Tatars still remain fragments of the history of ethnic hotelanlage time. In Uskut, one part of the inhabitants called the other "gottfrieds", which in German means" free " Goths. Among the Crimean Tatars C. Uskut meets the surname Gutu. Gottfried also residents of the villages of Biyuk-Ozenbash and Kuchyuk-Ozenbash called their neighbors who lived in the villages of Tatars-Osman, havr, Bagatyr, Mahuldur, Foti-Sala, etc.

Since the end of the IV century, the ethnic process in Crimea has been influenced by the tribes of the hunno-Alan Union.

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