House of Commons Debates
Statements by Members
Monday, December 11, 2017
1st Session • 42nd Parliament
Volume 148 • Number 249
Centenary of the Crimean Tatar Qurultay
Mr. Borys Wrzesnewskyj (Etobicoke Centre, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, in December 1917, 100 years ago, the Crimean Tatars proclaimed their Democratic Republic and launched their national assembly, the Qurultay.
The Bolsheviks abolished this state and in 1944 Stalin attempted ethnocide through the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars into Central Asia.
Almost half perished during the deportation, however, starting in 1989 Crimean Tatars began returning home, and under independent Ukraine were provided citizenship and a formal right of return.
Sadly, history seems to be repeating itself. With Russia’s 2014 military invasion and illegal occupation, the Crimean Tatars are once again facing disappearances, the murder of leaders, exile, and collective repression and persecution.
As we commemorate the centenary of the Crimean Tatar Qurultay, let us reaffirm that Crimean Tatars are the indigenous people of Crimea and that Crimea is Ukraine.