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Shevket Kaybullaev: «Our history is a constant struggle for survival»

September 22, 2016 21:16 0 5912 QirimInfo
The historian, publisher and journalist tells how the Crimean Tatar culture has to survive in the current environment.

Shevket Kaybullaev explains why support from Ukraine is so important for Crimeans, whether Ukrainians are interested in Crimean Tatar culture and whether it is possible to develop it in current Crimea.


At Lviv Forum of publishers you presented Qasevet magazine about the history and culture of the Crimean Tatars. Have you seen interest in the subject and whether the demand was?

There is an interest, but, apparently, in limited academic circles, where the subject is under study. It is also inextricably linked to the events of 2014. There are much talks about Crimea today, and it is intersting for people, when something new appears in their sound background, not their own, but, let's say, the Balkans or the Crimean Tatar.
Or when I just meet with Ukrainians and talk about the Crimean Tatar history, I see that they are interested in it. But again, we are talking about people who are ready to accept you. There is no need to promote the culture, as the Soviet Union did it, when it did not attract so much, but alienated.


What are the challenges to the Crimean Tatar culture now?

The challenges are all the same. It so happened that our history is a constant struggle for survival. Not in the sense that we had nothing to eat or nothing to wear. I speak about the culture as it, with rare exception, was not adversely impacted.

On the other hand, in constant pressure, the youth started being more interested in this topic. The popular music began to develop, especially jazz, new poets appeared, and they have a very original view of the world. This is some kind of rethinking of national images from the perspective of modernity.


Can you talk about the development and promotion of culture in the context of cooperation with the current government in Crimea?

In this case, everything is very individual and depends on the structure that takes on the role of the distributor. One official sees the point and does not preclude, and rather provides the maximum opportunities for development. Another puts sticks in the wheels in every possible way. <...>


The Forum considered the topic of the Crimean Tatar autonomy. There are different views on this issue on the mainland of Ukraine. To your opinion, if we consider the matter in perspective, are the Crimean Tatars ready for statehood?

Over the past 50 years the number of Crimean Tatars, who were involved in the governance system, has increased. The big breakthrough in this respect was in Ukraine. What I mean is that psychologically we are ready. But how it will be in practice, it is early to speak. One thing I can say for certain: there is a demand for it, and not only in the Crimean Tatar community. Not for nothing Crimea was always declared as autonomy.


What are the biggest complaints and and hopes of the pro-Ukrainian Crimeans and Crimean Tatars in particular with regard to Ukraine?
Most of all, we expect the sense of security of Ukraine. What is happening now in Crimea should be discussed both domestically and internationally. <...>

 What does bring together the Crimean Tatars in Crimea now?

That is, when you give the word, you should keep it. This is the way we do it. We have clearly defined a long time ago, with whom and where to go. <...>


To your opinion, why can not the other part of the pro-Ukrainian Crimeans show the same cohesion?

There's politics, which was carried out in relation to the residents of Crimea in general. For years, they threatened each other. Ukrainians – the Crimean Tatars, Russians – Ukrainians. We are taught by history, have always known how to respond to such attacks. As for the Ukrainians in Crimea, they just were not prepared for this. In the current situation it is obvious to me that it is neccessary to defend our interests. We can fight on the cultural, political and economic fronts.

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