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The Tatar Latin Front appealed to UNESCO for the protection of the Tatar alphabet and for rights of the Tatar people

In Kazan, a congress of the Coordinational Council of the Interregional Movement The Tatar Latin Front took place. The following appeal to UNESCO for the protection of the Tatar alphabet and rights of the Tatar people was adopted at the gathering:


To the General Director of UNESCO, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura, on the occasion of the International Mother Language Day, February 21, 2005.


Dear Mr. Koichiro Matsuura,

In 1997, the second World Tatar Congress adopted the resolution On the Reinstatement of the Tatar National Alphabet in the Latin Script. In 1999, the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan adopted a corresponding law, foreseeing the phased return of Roman letters. The adoption of this law was the result of a decade-long debate of this topic of current importance for the Tatar community, and it was adopted within the framework of legitimate procedures existing in Russia.

As is known, the Tatar alphabet in the Latin script was adopted to take the place of Arabic. It began its existence in 1927 and for twelve years it was successfully used by the Tatar people and facilitated cultural development. However, by the decision of the Politburo, in 1939 the Tatar written language was suddenly changed to Cyrillic script.

By Federal law adopted with influence of political pressure in 2002, the Cyrillic alphabet became the only mandatory alphabet of all the state languages of the Russian Federation, of which Tatar language is included. The Constitutional court of the Russian Federation laid down the last point in this matter, refusing to analyze this complex question from the judicial position. In this way, it is not the people themselves, the bearers of the language who now define the script of their written language, not the Republic of Tatarstan, in which the authority is found the functioning Tatar language, but in the federal center, its laws and courts. Russian internal sources of rights for the protection of elementary linguistic rights of the Tatar people have been exhausted.

However, the problem of the prohibition of the peoples of the Russian Federation to use any other alphabet besides Cyrillic, still in the stage of a Duma project, has ceased to be just a personal Russian problem and has become an issue of the world community. In 2002, the 68th World Congress of writers of the International PEN-club comprehensively studied the issue and adopted a resolution containing a demand to the Russian authorities to observe international rights and linguistic norms for the unhindered reinstatement of the Tatar written language in Latin script. In September 2004, the World Congress of writers sent a letter to the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation with a similar appeal. The opinion of experts and of the worlds writer community was ignored. As a result, there exists a law today that prohibits Tatars living in the Russian Federation to adopt the Latin alphabet, more convenient for the Tatar people, linguistics and communication.

In October 2004, a delegation of the Parliament Assembly of the European Council headed by David Atkins and Rudolf Binding visited, to whom representatives of the Tatar PEN-Center gave documents about the problems of the Tatar written language and the appeal to display their active participation.

International Mother Language Day, declared by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1999, observed every February 21, is a testament to the growing attention of the world community to problems of linguistic rights of all peoples.

The convention on the guarding of non-material cultural legacies, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on October 17, 2003 anticipates the protection of all language aspects as a manifestation of the important spiritual richness of humanity.

The growing attention from the UN, UNESCO and the world community to the preservation and development of linguistic and cultural diversity strengthens the hope of peoples subjected to assimilation, on the constructive assertion of their national-cultural traditions and rights dealing with their own mother language.

Dear Mr. Koichiro Matsuuro,

We earnestly ask you in accordance with the powers of the General Directorate of UNESCO to acknowledge the presence of the obvious humanitarian problem and to begin judicial procedures tied to the acceptance of extreme measures on the protection of linguistic rights of the Tatar people. (Documents are enclosed)

In your message on International Mother Language Day, you stressed the fact that, for native peoples, the protection of their mother tongue is the central demand in the plan of preservation of their self-existence and legacy. Your position in this matter establishes confidence that the Tatar people will receive understanding and support from UNESCO and other humanitarian institutions of the international community in the matter of the reinstatement of peoples linguistic rights.

We wish you fulfillment in your noble and humane endeavors and wish you a Happy International Mother Language Day!

From members of the Coordinational Council Latin Front of the Tatar people - Fandas Safiullin, Akhat Mushinskii.

Making up the force are social movement for the protection of Tatar Latin script and linguistic rights of the Tatar people, united with Tatar Latin Front. The following have already joined the movement:

Tatar Society Tatarstan (Saint Petersburg); Tatar Cultural-Activity Center Tatarlar (Moscow); Union of Muslim Women of the Republic of Tatarstan; the editorial office of the newspaper Tatar Gazetasy (Mordovia); Tatar Cultural Center Sarytau (Saratov); Tatar Informational Portal TatarNews (news.tatar.info); The Moscow Union of Tatar Attorneys; Tatar Business and Cultural Union Berlek (Moscow Region); Tatar Cultural Center Golianovo (Moscow); Moscow Tatar Students Assembly; Center of Tatar Youth of Moscow Aq Bars; Moscow tatar Club Qunaq; Association of Tatar Students Qardashlek (Moscow); Tatar Business Club of Young Entrepreneurs (Moscow); Tatar Club Aqqoshlar (Moscow); Tatar Club Jorak param (Moscow); Tatar Club Shatlyq (Moscow); Tatar Club Sharyq (Kazan); Union of Tatar Artists Rassam (Moscow) and others.

Today in the ranks of the Latin Front of the Tatar people there are more than 60 social organizations of various subjects of the Russian Federation. The appeals to join the Tatar Latin Front, in as far as the spreading of information about the creation of the front are continuing.

Well-known Tatar composer Almaz Monasypov (Moscow), whose name found itself in the collective letter, organized by the Federal authorities on the eve of the congress of the congress of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation against the Latin script, enlisted with the ranks of the Latin Front with a personal declaration about active support. The receipt of similar declarations and appeals from other respected Tatar figures of culture, science, and other spheres are expected. Their names and well-deserved authority have become a topic of unscrupulous political speculation.

Today, in the goals of the coordination of the social movement for the protection of rights of the Tatar people on the chosen script of their mother tongue, the creation of the Council of the Latin Front of the Tatar people is being completed.

Preparations for the International Mother Tongue Day, put into effect by the decision by UNESCO on February 21, have begun.

Join the Latin Front movement!

Suggestions, correspondence, and other statements can be addressed to: www.fandas@mail.ru


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