Fw: From today's (1 Sep. 2000) New York Times
- In a message dated 9/1/2000 8:51:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< By The Associated Press
MOSCOW (AP) -- One of Russia's largest republics marked the
start of the
new school year Friday by dropping Cyrillic in favor of the
Latin alphabet, in
part because it wants closer ties with Europe.
Schools in Tatarstan will now use the Latin alphabet for
written work in the
local Tatar language, spokeswoman Zukhra Minekhanova said. The
transition from Cyrillic will take 10 years, she said.
Tatarstan, located 470 miles east of Moscow, has a population
of 4 million
and is better off then most republics because of its
deposits. It has been prominent in shirking central control
from Moscow and
the adoption of the Latin alphabet will underline the trend.
President Vladimir Putin has been seeking to restore tight
over the republics that make up the Russian federation.
Minekhanova said the change was necessary because Cyrillic was
capable of transliterating all the sounds in Tatar and because
it would make
European culture more accessible to students.