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Tatar-Bashkir Report: July 3, 2003

3 July 2003
Parliament Commission Promotes Tatar-Turkish Lyceums
The State Council Commission on Science, Education, Culture, and National Issues on 2 July praised the activities of Tatar-Turkish lyceums in Tatarstan, noting that they observe local legislation and secure good education for their students, reported the same day. The commission also emphasized that there are no trends of Islamization or politicization in their work. Seven Tatar-Turkish lyceums were founded in the 1990s in Kazan, Chally, Tuben Kama, Elmet, and Bogelme under an agreement between the Tatar Education Ministry and the Ertugrul Gazi educational society in which 1,608 children study. This year, students at lyceums -- which total 0.3 percent of Tatarstan's schoolchildren -- won 37 percent of the award-winning places in republican academic competitions for secondary school students.

Among some of the problems the lyceums face, delays as long as six-months were reported in the issuing of visas for Turks teaching at lyceums. Those delays are caused by law-enforcement bodies and by the Russian consulate in Istanbul, it was reported. Another problem for lyceums is getting customs bodies to approve the delivery of Turkish humanitarian aid from the Ertugrul Gazi society. Over the past three years, the Russian government commission on humanitarian and technical aid denied permission for the delivery of some $100,000 worth of aid to lyceums.

Russian Court Convicts Organized Crime Group
The Russian Supreme Court reduced the sentences of some members of the organized criminal group Zvanka after those convicted appealed the sentences given to them by Tatarstan's Supreme Court, reported on 2 July. The group operated for about one year in Tatarstan's Pitrech Raion and its members were found guilty of nine murders, two attempted murders, and 13 robberies. Of nine people convicted by the Tatar Supreme Court in October, group head Renat Shahweliev was sentenced to life imprisonment, six other members to between 12 and 15 years, one to a conditional term, and another one was released following the trial as his time served in detention completed his prison term. The Russian Supreme Court reduced the terms of some of the convicts by several months, according to the report.

Finance Company Elects New Board
Five representatives from Tatarstan were among the 11 members elected to the board of the Finance Leasing Company (FLK) at the company's annual shareholders meeting, reported on 2 July. They are Deputy Economy and Industry Minister Sergei Mukhin, Zenit Bank Board Chairman Robert Musin, Finance Leasing Company Executive Director Marsel Zaripov, Kazan Gorbunov Aviation Plant General Director Nail Kheirullin, and Tatenergo First Deputy General Director Golsine Minnekhanova. The Russian government, which owns 58 percent of FLK, is represented on the new board by Industry, Science, and Technology Minister Ilya Klebanov, First Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Vyazalov, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Yurii Isaev, Russian Aviation-Cosmic Agency General Director Yurii Koptev, and two other representatives of the Russian Aviation-Cosmic Agency and of the Russian Property Relations Ministry.

According to the company's business plan, the Kazan Aviation Plant is to construct 10 airliners for FLK, one of them this year. FLK won the 2001 tender held by the Russian government to support domestic aviation production.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Tatar Civic Leaders Uninvited Guests For Rakhimov...
Leaders of Bashkortostan's opposition Tatar public groups -- including Tatar Public Center head Airat Giniyatullin, Natural Cultural Autonomy head Zahir Khekimov, Milli Mejlis Chairman Marat Ramazanov, and Aq Qalfaq women's organization head Kifaya Fazyltdinova -- were prevented from taking part in a meeting of Bashkir President Murtaza Rakhimov with the republic's Tatar public figures on 2 July, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported the same day. Khekimov told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service on 2 July that police guarding the presidential residence stopped them as they went to join the meeting, saying they were not on the list of participants. Khekimov managed to join the gathering after he presented identification as a State Duma deputy's assistant but presidential administration press department head Emir Yuldashbaev showed him the door, saying, "an uninvited guest is worse than a Tatar."

At the meeting, composer Alik Loqmanov spoke of the necessity of providing official status for the Tatar language in Bashkortostan. Rakhimov answered that Tatars had good reasons for declaring Tatar a state language in Tatarstan but that this will never take place in Bashkortostan.

According to Bashinform, meeting participants noted the stability, calmness, friendship, and brotherhood of peoples living in the republic and called for not disturbing that stability. Rakhimov said he is going to charge governing bodies with paying attention to national and cultural problems of the republic's Tatar population and preservation and development of Tatar people's spiritual values. Each of Bashkortostan's peoples should be provided conditions to satisfy its spiritual and cultural needs, he added.

...And For Bashkortostan's Tatar Congress
Not a single leader of Tatar public groups in Bashkortostan was included on the list of guests of the 5 July second stage of Bashkortostan's Tatar Congress, an organization loyal to the republic's leadership, an RFE/RL Ufa correspondent reported on 2 July. There is only one Tatar among the heads of the congress's organizing committee, while three others, including its chairman, Prime Minister Rafael Baidavletov, and two his deputies, are Bashkirs. Only two officials from Tatarstan were invited to the congress: World Tatar Congress Executive Committee Chairman Renat Zakirov and Deputy State Council Chairman Robert Minnullin. Meanwhile, other guests include State Duma deputies, Bashkir State Assembly deputies, Bashkir presidential administration employees, Bashkir government members, heads of higher educational institutions and research institutes, and national and cultural group leaders. Even among the 21 heads of national-cultural autonomies invited to the forum, there are leaders of Polyak, Mordovian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Greek, and other autonomies but there is not one leader of the republic's Tatar national-cultural autonomies.

Anniversary Of Midair Collision Marked In Germany
Ceremonies marking the one-year anniversary of the midair collision between a Bashkir Airlines airliner and a DHL cargo jet in which 71 people died, including 52 children, were held on 1 July in Germany, Russian media reported. A Bashkir delegation of 120 relatives and republican officials headed by Prime Minister Baidavletov took part in the events. Delegation members visited the crash site and planted 71 rose bushes grown in Bashkortostan and brought to Germany.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova