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Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report -- 8 August 2002

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  • Uli Schamiloglu
    This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) http://www.rferl.org and has been sent to you by Uli Schamiloglu.
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      This article below appears on the web site of Radio Free Europe/
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      http://www.rferl.org and has been sent
      to you by Uli Schamiloglu.

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      Tatar-Bashkir Daily Report

      www.azatliq.org

      RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Service

      Tatar-Bashkir Report Archive

      8 August 2002

      DAILY REVIEW FROM TATARSTAN

      Shaimiev To Take Part In Naval Exercises In Caspian Sea

      Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev is to leave on 8 August
      for the Caspian Sea where he will review naval exercises
      on board the flagship of the Caspian Fleet, the
      "Tatarstan," which was constructed in Yeshel Uzen,
      intertat.ru reported on 7 August, citing the presidential
      press service (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 15 July
      2002). The Russian military will be carrying out
      exercises involving 10,000 servicemen, 60 ships, and 30
      warplanes until 15 August.

      Paper Comments On Tensions Between Moscow, Kazan

      The Russian weekly "Argumenty i fakty" ran a comment on 7
      August about a brewing battle between Kazan and Moscow.
      The paper said that relations between the federal
      government and Tatarstan have been aggravated mainly by
      Moscow's desire to abandon its 1994 power-sharing treaty
      with the republic. Its reasoning, the paper said, is
      based largely on its disagreement with provisions in the
      treaty regarding Tatar sovereignty and citizenship. The
      head of the Tatar legislature, Farid Mukhametshin, went
      to Moscow to try to resolve the debate, but was unable to
      alter Moscow's position, essentially slamming the door on
      the issue, the paper wrote.

      The paper commented that the current hostility is similar
      to the tensions that existed between Moscow and Kazan in
      1993. While under pressure from separatists, the Tatar
      government in 1993 refused to hold elections to the
      Federation Council or the State Duma, and also refused to
      let its residents vote in a referendum on the adoption of
      the Russian Constitution. Federal authorities even
      considered solving the issue militarily, the paper wrote,
      adding that the sides in the current dispute have likely
      accepted that a confrontation is inevitable.

      As evidence of an impending confrontation, the paper
      pointed out that President Shaimiev recently held a
      meeting with Tatar nationalists from the Tatar Public
      Center and that people in the republic are not happy with
      a recent court decision ruling that Muslim women are not
      permitted to cover their faces in their passport
      photographs (see "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 5 August
      2002). The paper then hinted that the republic's 1.5
      million Russians could find themselves under some
      pressure in the near future.

      For its part, federal authorities are putting pressure on
      Tatarstan through a planned "oil-quality bank," an idea
      that Tatarstan has vigorously opposed, the paper wrote.
      The Russian State Duma is preparing a draft law on the
      bank that calls for a prohibition on using Russian
      pipelines to export oil that is high in sulphur, which is
      exactly the type of oil that is produced in Tatarstan.

      KamAZ Appoints Senior Managers

      KamAZ general director Sergei Kogogin appointed as his
      deputies on 1 August Pavel Poltirykhin, Viktor Faber,
      Ildar Khalikov, Anatolii Samarenkin, Ilshat Khaziev, and
      Irek Gumerov, intertat.ru reported on 7 August. All six
      men had been serving as Kogogin's acting deputies.
      Kogogin also appointed a new deputy in charge of car
      production, Vasil Kayumov, general director of the Zavod
      Mikrolitrazhnykh Avomobilei (Compact-Vehicles Plant).
      Danis Valeev and Anton Trayanov remain Kogogin's acting
      deputies.

      TV Directors Present Development Plans

      The heads of Tatarstan's two television companies, Ilshat
      Aminov of the Television and Radio Company Novyi Vek (TRK
      Novyi Vek) and Irek Murtazin of the State Tevelvision and
      Radio Company of Tatarstan (GTRK Tatarstan), held a joint
      briefing on 7 August to outline their companies'
      development plans, intertat.ru reported the same day.

      TRK Novyi Vek was established in 2001 as an independent
      channel. Its programs are seen in 90 percent of
      Tatarstan, as well as in the European part of Russia.
      Aminov said the station plans to increase its broadcasts
      to 12 hours per day in September and to 24 hours a day by
      2003.

      GTRK Tatarstan is in the process of joining Russia's
      VGTRK holding, which should be completed by 2003, the
      company's director said. The station plans to continue
      its television broadcasts of 2 1/2 hours per day and
      radio broadcasts of 3 1/2 hours per day. The company also
      intends, however, to reduce its staff from 652 employees
      to 250.

      GTRK Tatarstan and TRK Novyi Vek have budgets of 65
      million rubles ($2.06 million) and 40 million rubles
      ($1.27 million), respectively.

      Clergy Asked To Preach On Fire Prevention

      The Tatar State Fire Service and the republic's Orthodox
      and Muslim clergy signed a cooperation agreement in Kazan
      in 6 August in accordance with which clergy members will
      discuss the dangers of fire during their services,
      "Izvestiya" reported on 7 August. The State Fire Service,
      in its turn, agreed to install smoke detectors and fire
      alarms in churches and mosques. Meanwhile, the Raifa
      monastery near Kazan established its own team of
      fire-fighting monks two years ago, and Tatar Interior
      Minister Asgat Safarov gave the monastery a fire truck.
      The monks also provide fire-fighting services for the
      monastery's neighboring villages.

      The daily also said that Tatarstan's Traffic Police
      recently asked Muslim priests to preach to their
      congregations about traffic safety.

      Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova

      DAILY REVIEW FROM BASHKORTOSTAN

      Tatar Rights Movement Organizations Prepare For The
      Alternative Congress

      Elfir Sakaev, chairman of the committee preparing an
      alternative congress for Bashkortostan's Tatars (see
      "RFE/RL Tatar-Bashkir Report," 5 August 2002), told
      RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent on 7 August that the event
      called Tatar Public Organizations Congress in
      Bashkortostan "will be held on 10 August at any cost." He
      added that the congress delegates are being elected in
      the republic's regions.

      The 10 August event is to discuss the current situation
      of Tatars' rights in Bashkortostan, preparations for the
      October 2002 census, and electing delegates for the third
      World Tatar Congress. Sakaev said that the alternative
      Tatar congress is sponsored by the Bashkortostan branches
      of the Tatar Public Center (TIU), National Assembly
      (Milli Mejlis) organizations, the Tatar National-Cultural
      Autonomy in Bashkortostan, Ufa Tatar Culture Center,
      Miras, Aq Qalfaq, and the Azatliq Tatar Youth Union.

      Sakaev noted with regret that during the 2 August Tatar
      forum "the Bashkir government's pocket organization of
      the Tatar Congress in Bashkortostan distributed the seats
      of delegates for the third World Tatar Congress among
      pro-[Bashkir President Murtaza] Rakhimov figures."

      Registration Suit Won By Tatar Culture Center's Fate
      Still Uncertain

      The Ufa-based Tatar Culture Center won its lawsuit
      demanding it be registered against the Bashkir branch of
      the Russian Justice Ministry in Ufa's Oktyabrskii
      district court on 7 August, RFE/RL's Ufa correspondent
      reported on 8 August. The Justice Ministry branch stated
      its intention to appeal against the court ruling. The
      Tatar National-Cultural Autonomy in Bashkortostan is
      another Tatar public organization seeking official
      registration in the republic by taking the local office
      of the federal Justice Ministry to court.

      Compiled by Iskender Nurmi

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      Uli Schamiloglu
      Professor of Turkic & Central Eurasian Studies
      Department of Languages and Cultures of Asia
      1254 Van Hise, 1220 Linden Drive
      Madison, WI  53706 USA
      tel. 1-608-262-7141 (office), 1-608-262-3012 (department), 1-608-265-3538 (fax)
      Email: uschamil@...
      LCA website:  lca.wisc.edu

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