Accessibility links

Breaking News

Crimean Tatars Prepare For Congress Amid Controversy

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine -- The world's first Kurultay (Congress) of the Crimean Tatars is scheduled to take place on May 19-22, despite a boycott by some Crimean Tatar groups.

The Crimean Tatar Assembly (Mejlis) told RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service that the congress will be held in the Crimean city of Bakhchisaray and four smaller towns on the peninsula.

Leaders and activists representing NGOs that support Crimean Tatars told RFE/RL that they are going to boycott the congress because they say its major goal would be to make Mustafa Djemilev the permanent leader of the Crimean Tatars.

Djemilev, who is now the Mejlis chairman and a Ukrainian parliament deputy, used to be a prominent dissident who challenged the Soviet system in the 1960s and 1970s.