April 7, 2021, 16:36
Developed by Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, the policy follows the proposals from the goverment agencies, Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People, scholarly and eductational institutions, NGOs and independent experts.
Vice prime minister Oleksiy Reznikov stated that “the Concept lays the foundation for upcoming 10 years” and comes as the first step toward Crimean Tatar Language Development Strategy for 2022-2023. “The Crimean Tatar language is in the critical situation and the Russian annexation of Crimea made it more challenging”, said Reznikov, citing the UN resolutions that addressed this issue.
“The Crimean Tatar language presents great opportunities for Ukraine we are failing to realize. It should be perceived as the ‘Ukrainian’ Turcic language. The Crimean Tatar language structure makes it universal when it comes to understanding other Turcic languages. It literally enables us to speak the same language with our partners, strengthening our ties with Ancara, Baku, Nur-Sultan, starting new economic, culture, security projects. It is the new dynamics of contacts, it is the new level of mutual trust,” stressed Reznikov.
According to the government official, the Crimean Tatar Language Development Concept assumes:
- provisions for the language transition that enable passing the language down from generation to generation and granting the Crimean Tatars the full rights for their language use.
- introduction of a Latin alphabet into the Crimean Tatar language. (Reznikov sees it as a “strategic decision” that can “put together the Crimean Tatar diasporas worldwide and advance Ukraine’s agenda).
- wide promotional and educational opportunities to encourage learning the language through new books, dictionaries, online courses – The Ministry has already approached the Duolingo company with this idea; development of Crimean Tatar ‘Wikipedia’ that will eventually make it possible to use Crimean Tatar wth Google Translate tools.
“I would love to underline that Crimean Tatar language development is what reconnects us with Crimea no matter how hard Russia tries to severe these ties,”said Reznikov.
The policy aims to revitalize the Crimean Tatar language listed as endangered by UNESCO, widen its use, and encourage Ukrainians of different ages to learn it. It can also help Ukraine recover its territioral integrity and sovereignty.
The document lays the foundation for 2022-2032 Development Strategy for Crimean Tatar Language that will be presented by the Ukraine’s government at “Crimea Platform” international conference in August 2021.
The government plans to establish the Advisors’ Board on Crimean Tatar language and consider yearly reports to monitor the Concept implementation.