Mieste Hotopp-Riecke & Ali Khamzin

The political relationship of the Russian and Soviet empires to oppressed peoples

The Crimean Tatars - struggle for the self-preservation of a European Turkic people

This is the headline of one of the few articles by Ali Khamzin that published in German. He was a vehement admonisher of the threat of Russian annexation of the Crimea and often fought losing out for more attention for the concerns of the Crimea and the Crimean Tatars. On the one hand, he busily organized in cooperation with us meetings with various politicians in Germany and the Crimea, in the German Bundestag, with German NGOs and parliamentary groups. On the other hand, he appeared alongside Swietłana Czerwonnaja at several academic meetings to present the Crimean Tatar analysis of current political developments. Here a documentation of short quotations from above mentioned article:

„The history of many peoples of post-Soviet territory, especially smaller oppressed peoples suffering from the dangerous process of assimilation, is the result of their submission and affiliation to two defunct empires: The Tsarist Empire and later Soviet Communist Russia.

These empires, which are located on the territory of what is now the Commonwealth of Independent States, disintegrated in the 20th century: the Russian tsarist empire collapsed in 1917, the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991. As indicative of their political pace and in contrast to other existing great powers, the extremely harsh and systematic politics of violent and enforced assimilation and the Russification of oppressed peoples after they were territorially conquered can be called. Tsarist Russia realized this as part of its colonial policy, while under the roof of the Soviet Union the criminal communist regime idea arose to build a new “socialist nation and society” embedded in a mendacious “international friendship”.

From this damaging policy of approximation comes the will of the Russian as well as the Soviet empire to turn the oppressed peoples into a kind of humane "biomass" that produces new people - Russian-speaking people. This in turn guaranteed the exclusion of any national uprising for freedom and independence on the part of the oppressed. [...]

These facts, that the Crimean Tatar people were not only subject to two Russian empires, but also served them afterwards, remain without attention to this day. This is indicative of a policy of assimilation by the Russian and Soviet empires, since they were alien to the principles customary in the history of other world empires, where enslaved peoples were given minimal opportunities, at least within the framework of puppet regimes, to preserve their religion, language and national culture.”

At the end of this text, Ali Khamzin proposes that an international conference should be held in Berlin to address the fate and condition of the world of Turkic peoples and peoples who have suffered the consequences of the state anti-human actions of three Russian empires - the Tsarist, the Soviet and the more recent.

„Such a conference will, on the one hand, draw attention to this historical problem, but also highly topical in its implications, and, on the other hand, arouse respect among many representatives of the Turkic peoples for those who defended the political interests of these nations.

Because they are all representatives of the great Turkish world, in whose history there were also glorious sides of courage, heroism, loyalty to alliances and wise state politics, this part of the Turkish world survived in the XX. Century the scaled genocide, deportation and repression - primarily connected with the history of the Russian empires, which brought the representatives of this world irreplaceable, irretrievable losses.”

As scientists and artists, we stay on the path of Swietłana hanım and Ali ağa at the side of those who fight for their rights to their mother tongue, self-determination and freedom. In deep sadness and gratitude for the fellows and colleagues of the ICATAT, Dr. Mieste Hotopp-Riecke, Winter 2020.

Calligraphy by ICATAT-fellow Iman Shaaban, Magdeburg

S. Czerwonnaja with Fuat Pepinov and Ali Khamzin at Symposium „Art and Culture in the Islamic World“, Cracow, October 2009