Perception of Homeland among Crimean Tatars: Cases from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Crimea


BILIG, no.54, pp.21-46, 2010 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.21-46
  • Keywords: Crimean Tatars, Crimea, Homeland, Identity, Deportation, Myth
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Crimean Tatars have been experiencing the loss of homeland since the Russian invasion of Crimea in 1783, which caused massive waves of migration especially to the Ottoman Empire. The loss of homeland culminated in Stalin's strategic deportations. Crimean Tatars were deported from Crimea to Central Asia in 1944 and obtained the right to return to their homeland in 1989. Since then, the return process has continued. Considering that the construction of the myth of homeland is an effective instrument to mobilize national sentiment, this article studies the perception of homeland among Crimean Tatars with its different layers - as an essential marker of identity, as an idealized mythical final destination, as a land where the community lives, and finally as a rationally desired place in search for a better life. The article also argues that these layers may coexist in individual cases although their relative significance may vary.