Reintegration ministry drafts concept for developing, promoting Crimean Tatar language

Canan Sarıtepe
29 January 2021, 11:10
Canan Sarıtepe
29 January 2021, 11:10

Ukraine's Reintegration Ministry has prepared a draft concept for developing and promoting the Crimean Tatar language for the period until 2032.

The relevant information announced on Wednesday by the Ministry for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine

"The draft concept was penned following rounds of consultations with the authorities, experts with the National Academy of Sciences, teachers, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, media, NGOs, and experts, including in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic Crimea and the city of Sevastopol," the ministry wrote.

The draft has now been made brought for public debate. First, it will be revised and approved by the central and local authorities under the established procedure. After that, it will be proposed to the Cabinet for consideration before the relevant government act is adopted.

As a result of the Russian occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol, according to the ministry, the language's rank deteriorated to a critical low and this problem led to a need to enhance state policy in the field of supporting the language of the indigenous people.

"The vast majority of native speakers live in the temporarily occupied territories where the occupying authorities impose restrictions on the Crimean Tatar language, including curbing opportunities for citizens to receive education in their native language."

The ministry reminded that since 2014, the UN General Assembly resolutions and the reports of the UN Secretary-General have been repeatedly voiced deep concern over "the limitations on preserving the identity and culture and receiving education in the Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar languages in temporarily occupied Crimea."

"We tried to approach the Crimean Tatar language not only from the perspective of the need to preserve a unique heritage but as a living speech that should be passed on from generation to generation and solve communication issues of the modern world," said Deputy Minister for Reintegration Ihor Yaremenko.

He reiterated that the ministry has already turned to Google and Duolingo with a request to integrate the Crimean Tatar language into their technological platforms. 

"It is reasonable to support the development of the Crimean Tatar language based on the Latin characters, which is consistent with international trends," Yaremenko added.

According to him, the work will be carried out within the framework of the "International Decade of Indigenous Languages."

The UN General Assembly proclaimed 2022‑2032 as the "International Decade of Indigenous Languages", inviting indigenous peoples — as custodians — to initiate ideas for preserving this endangered facet of their cultural and social life, as it adopted 60 resolutions and one decision recommended by its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural).

As reported earlier, Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov announced that the concept for developing the Crimean Tatar language would be made public in Ukraine.