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Tatar-Bashkir Report: August 16, 2005

16 August 2005
Putin Made Honorary Kazan Citizen
The city of Kazan granted President Vladimir Putin honorary citizenship of the Tatar capital on 15 August, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported the same day. Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev have each been honored with the title in the past, along with prominent Tatar scientists, artists, and war veterans. The honor is traditionally accompanied by a small monetary award, a medal, and a diploma. The tradition was introduced in the 19th century but abolished after the 1917 revolution until it was revived in 1987.

New Translation Of Classic Poem To Be Presented In Kazan
Tuqay Museum will host the presentation on 26 August of a German translation of the classic fairy tale "Shurele," which is being issued by the publisher Bertugan of Tatar-Bashkir community in Germany, RFE/RL's Kazan bureau reported on 15 August. The book was translated by the publishing house's owner, Alia Taysina, who will participate in the presentation along with other contributors to the book.

Crimean Tatar Leaders Meet With Prominent Crimean Tatar Publicist
The chairman of the Crimean Tatar Congress, Mustafa Cemilev, and the chairman of Istanbul's Crimean Tatar community, Celal Icten, met with renowned Crimean Tatar emigrant writer Cengiz Dagci in London to express their gratitude for his novels dedicated to the fate of his people, RFE/RL's correspondent reported from Crimea on 15 August.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

Website Discusses Media As Tool In Political Struggle In Bashkortostan
One of Bashkortostan's most popular dailies, the Ufa edition of "Moskovskii Komsomolets," has in recent years been the object of exhausting battles among local businessmen seeking to control it, Bashnews wrote on 15 August. Bashnews cited perceived "strong shifts" in the editorial policies of the daily, which it said published "hateful articles" in 2003 about future Bashkir presidential candidate and Moscow banker Sergei Veremeenko and his brother, former republican tax chief Aleksandr Veremeenko. In 2001-03, the daily published what some considered uncritical articles about the Veremeenko brothers, whose business acumen allowed them to maintain various charity projects.

The author of the Bashnews piece claimed that an angry reaction by Sergei Veremeenko was accompanied by articles praising the successes of Bashkortostan's Interior Ministry.

HIV Spreads In Bashkortostan
Eight new cases of HIV infection were registered in Bashkortostan during the first six months of August, putting the total republican figure at 5,016, Bashinform reported on 15 August. Three hundred twenty-seven more people are officially registered as AIDS-positive. More than 70 percent of virus carriers were infected through intravenous drug use.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi