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[tatar-l] Fwd: from Vassil Karloukovski

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  • SabirzyanB@aol.com
    Original sender: Vassil Karloukovski Subject: Re: Bulgars Press Their Case in Civil Courts (Tatarstan) ... I think this treatment
    Message 1 of 1 , May 31, 1999
      Original sender: Vassil Karloukovski <E.Karloukovski@...>
      Subject: Re: "Bulgars" Press Their Case in Civil Courts (Tatarstan)

      >"Bulgars" Press Their Case in Civil Courts
      > ..
      >The low ethnic self-esteem and severe discomfort associated with the
      >word 'Tatar" has recently found its most dramatic expression in the
      >so-called "Bulgar movement." The movement was founded more than a
      >century ago by a Tatar cleric Bagautdin Vaisov, who taught his
      >followers that they were the descendants of Bulgars, a Turkic tribe
      >that settled in the Middle Volga area in the 7th-9th centuries C.E.
      >Members of his sect rejected the enthnonym "Tatar" and called
      >themselves "Bulgars." With the death of Vaisov in 1918 his sect
      >gradually disappeared despite the efforts of his son, Gainan, to
      >reinvigorate it.

      I think this treatment on the subject is not quite balanced. Leaving
      aside the "rightfulness" or not of Vaisov's, Bogdanov's aspirations,
      it must be said that in 1918 the Vaisov sect disappeared as gradually,
      by itself, as capitalism, the kulaks and many others in Soviet Russia
      did... Vaisov as well as several thousand of his followers were, in
      fact, killed by the Bolsheviks, and the movement was suppressed.

      As for the other part:

      >It is no secret that many Tatars are uncomfortable about their own
      >ethnicity, including their own ethnonym. This is unusual but not
      >surprising: historically, in Russia, the word "Tatar" has had very
      >strong negative connotations. Very often, it takes some courage to
      >call yourself a Tatar, especially if you happen to live in a
      >predominantly Russian environment.

      such denigrating statements couldn't come from Tatars themselves, they
      probably reflect some specific Russian attitude. It is well known that
      before the revolution the Volga Tatars had a higher literacy , higher
      percentage of people attending schools, etc. than the Russians. In
      fact, I am perplexed as to who is their true author, because such
      texts do not appear in the referred Russian newspapers "Vechernyaya
      Kazan" and "The Simbirsk Courier". Here is what they say:

      "Vechernyaya Kazan", 18 May 1999, Issue 77

      Once in a lifetime

      The Supreme court of the Republic of Tatarstan reversed the decision
      of the Vahitov's regional court which allowed to the president of the
      Bulgarian national congress Gusman Halilov to enter "Bulgar" and not
      "Tatar" into the "Nationality" entry of his passport.

      The court also refused to satisfy his request to oblige the
      Passport-visa section of the Interior ministry of R of Tatarstan to
      issue passports with changes in the "Nationality" entry. The deputy
      president of the Supreme court of R of Tatarstan on civil matters
      Il'giz Gilazov in an interview for our newspaper explained that this
      decision was based on the decision of the Supreme court of the Russian
      federation, in which it is said that according to the Constitution of
      the Russian federation, the citizens have the right to choose their
      nationality when they receive their passport. However, a subsequent
      repetition of this right is not allowed according to the law.

      "The Simbirsk Courier" No. 32, March 4, 1999,

      The voice of the ancestors called to go to the court

      A Tatar went to court in order to gain the right to call himself
      Bulgar. And won.

      It is difficult to rewrite the history. Especially when it concerns a
      whole people and goes nine centuries back. However the constructing
      engineer Shaukat Bogdanov had the courage to restore the historical
      truth and to prove, that there is not nationality "Tatar", but

      Yesterday in the court of Zasvijazh Bogdanov defended his right to
      call himself Bulgar. He based his request on numerous documents,
      research of modern and past historians.

      . The history of the Tatars, following the official version, started
      with the Tataro-Mongols. But this statement turned out to be
      debatable, or rather - unattainable. The scholars always have the last

      The historians Dmitri Kaljuzhni and Sergej Valjanski ...: "On the
      medieval maps there isn't any Tataria to the east of Russia", they
      said in the interview to "Komsomol'skaja pravda" (12.08.98). Even at
      the time of Ivan Groznij, centuries later, these lands were called
      Kazan khanate and not Tataria. The Russians in their clash with these
      people started calling them "tatarove, tatari", which means "foreign
      people, people from the Hell, Tartar".

      The prominent historian Lev Gumilev asserts that Kiev Russia and Volga
      Bulgaria, notwithstanding the differences in the religion, maintained
      friendly relations for almost 250 years, until he Mongol conquest of
      Batij. "By the way, - say Gumilev, - the descendants of these Bulgar,
      who represented a significant proportion of the population of the
      Middle Volga region, in a twist of the fate began to be called Tatars,
      and their language - Tatar. However, it is nothing more that a
      deceit!" ("Korni nashego rodstva", Izvestija, 1988, 13 April.)

      The judge Ol'ga Bojkova from the Zasvijazh court, we think, had
      difficulties in finding the right answer to such a delicate problem.
      The officials from the Passport section quoted instructions of the
      Ministry of Justice, which listed the requirements for change of the
      nationality and enumerated the existing nationalities where there were
      no "Bulgar". They put the main stress on the fact that this nation is
      "historical". It appears it was impossible to choose between the
      historical argumentation and the laws. But the judge did that,
      referring to the 26th paragraph of the Constitution of the Russian
      federation, which states: "Everybody has the right to determine and to
      state his/her nationality."

      Bogdanov won at the court. Now he and his family can call themselves
      Bulgars. But the Passport section still has the right to appeal the
      judge's decision.

      Alsu Idrisova.

      Vassil Karloukovski


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