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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 20, 2001

20 September 2001
Moscow May Gain Power to Determine Alphabets reported that the Duma on 18 September had discussed amendments to the law on languages of peoples of Russia including the one saying that "Russia's state language and the state languages of republics are to use Cyrillic-based alphabets. Any other alphabets can be introduced only with the approval of the Duma." Deputies called on Kazan to reflect on the political consequences of their decision to introduce the Latin script. OVR leader Vyacheslav Volodin said that Kazan's decision "endangers the interests of every resident of the republic. Robert Nigmatullin (Regions of Russia) noted that the introduction of the new script in Tatarstan would cut Tatars outside that republic from Tatarstan. Meanwhile, on 19 September commented that "switching to Tatar Latin alphabet threats the integrity of Russia."

WTC Leader Says Backers of Latinization Significantly Outnumber Opponents
Rimzil Valeev, the deputy head of the World Tatar Congress Executive Committee, told on 19 September that "there are much more supporters of Tatar latinization among Tatar intelligentsia rather than opponents." He said that Latin alphabet will allow Tatar language to be adopted in the Internet and to attract numerous users of global information networks.

Russian Scholar Opposed to Tatar Latin Alphabet
Emma Volodarskaya, the chief editor of "Voprosy filologii," said in an interview published in "Vek" on 14 September that Tatarstan's switch to Latin script "will result in a lot of negative consequences, in the economy and in the language as well."

Mosque in Nizhnii Attacked reported on 17 September that unknown people have thrown stones at a mosque in the Nizhnii Novgorod Avtozavodskii raion. Imam Umer khazrat said that Muslims in the oblast have been confronted by more hostility since the 11 September terrorist acts in the U.S. Tatarstan Mufti Valiulla khazrat on 19 Sepember told that the terrorist attacks had had a very strong impact on all Muslims of Russian including Tatar Muslim community. He said that Islam is a peaceful religion and forbids murder as well as suicide. He added that "we have condemned terrorist actions in New-York and Washington."

No Losses among Tatarstan Militiamen in Gudermes
Tatarstan Deputy Interior Minister Aleksandr Vaida on 19 September told "Vechernyaya Kazan" that the interior detachment from Tatarstan didn't take part in combats this week in Chechnya so it has no one member lost or injured. Vaida also said that federal commanders in Chechnya "have positively evaluated a work of Tatarstan militiamen there."

Tatarstan - New Century Calls for Eliminating Conditions that Give Rise to Terrorism
"Vremya i dengi" on 19 September published a statement by the Tatarstan - New Century expressing "sorrow and deep condolences to relatives of victims of monstrous acts of terrorism in the United States." The authors also expressed concern about attempts to link terrorism and Islam.

Trade Unions Want Bigger Salary
Tatarstan Trade Unions leader Tatyana Vodopyanova on 19 September said that wages of Tatarstan residents, especially of state budget employees and workers of defense enterprises and the trade sector are "extremely low" and must be at least doubled next year, Efir-inform reported.

Kazan, St. Petersburg To Cooperate In Jubilees Celebration
Rafis Gusmanov, the head of the board in charge of preparations for the Kazan millennium, said on 14 September that Tatarstan�s capital and St. Petersburg have signed an accord on cooperation during celebrations of two cities' jubilees, Efir-inform reported.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

Muslim Leader says People from Various Religions Behind Terrorist Acts
Bashkortostan Moslem Religious Board chairman Nurmukhemmet khazret told RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent that in his opinion, "[last week�s] tragic events in the Unites States were the result of planned actions planned by people of different confessions and nationalities, not just Muslims."

Bashkortostan's Agriculture Said Improving...
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Artur Nugumanov said on 19 September that "although Bashkortostan's agriculture hasn't gotten up from its knees, it has raised its head," a reference to improved production and the likelihood that the republic will be able to sell 750,000 tons of grain this year. Revenues from such sales will be used to pay off back wages owed collective farmers and to purchase much-needed machinery.

...But Grain Quality Relatively Low
State Grain Inspection official Kamila Nizamiyeva told "Respubika Bashkortostan" on 19 September that only eight percent of grain grown in the republic was of first-class quality.

Machinery Industry Increases Output...
State Industry Committee chairman Vil Ardislamov said on 19 September said that Bashkortostan's machinery industry, which represents 12.6 percent of the republic's industrial production, had increased its output during the first eight months of 2001 by 30 percent compared to the same period in 2000.

... As Industry Restructures Itself
According to Bashinform on 19 September, over 60% of Bashkortostan's machinery industry companies are restructuring themselves to improve efficiency. In many cases they are using loans from the republic government for that purpose.

Compiled by Iskender Nurmi