Kazan Holiday of the Tatars from Antalya: ''The Tatars away from their homeland need spiritual nourishment''

Kazan Holiday of the Tatars from Antalya: ''The Tatars away from their homeland need spiritual nourishment'' Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The Tatars from the resort region of Turkey have visited Kazan and on their return to Antalya want to create their own public organization, open Tatar language courses and organise days of Tatar culture. Read more about these plans in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

The Tatars of Antalya will unite

The Kazan Holiday of the Tatars from the Turkish Mediterranean coast is coming to an end. Let it be short, but fruitful. There are already the first results – they have agreed to create a new group in social networks ''Tatar unity'', and there has appeared the confidence in the necessity to create the official public organization ''The Tatars of Antalya''. Moreover, according to initiator of the cultural movement of the Tatars of this region Oksana Nazarova, next year it is planned to hold a serious event — Days of Tatar culture in Antalya. They want to combine it with Sabantuy, which will be held for the second time there.

Oksana Nazarova is Chairman of the Council for Foreigners Affairs at the administration of Konyaalti district of Antalya.

''Holidays in the resorts of Antalya are popular among Tatarstan citizens, but for rest we go to Kazan,'' says Oksana. ''There are our roots, our relatives, close people, my mother lives in Kazan. This time, before the trip, I offered to meet if someone else is also at this time will be in Kazan. I really wanted our communication in social networks to bring to a new level: from virtual to real life. Immediately I received a large number of responses. What is more, not only Tatars from Antalya contacted me, but also from other regions and countries, because many aspire to Kazan and come here often.

''Holidays in the resorts of Antalya are popular among Tatarstan citizens, but for rest we go to Kazan,'' says Oksana

The union in Kazan

Thus, the first meeting was held in Kazan on August 13. According to Oksana Nazarova, there were about 25 people. The Tatars of Antalya were joined by Deputy Chairman of the public organization 'Tatarstan' from Baku Emin Ramazanov, head of the Tatar edition of the radio station ''Voice of Turkey'' from Ankara (he is a native of Kazan) Sagit Khayri, entrepreneur in the field of tourism from Kazan Ramil Khabibullin and others. As Emin Ramazanov noted, he was not averse to sharing his many years of experience in public work.

The programme of stay of our compatriots in the Tatarstan capital could be observed in social networks. Over these days, representatives of the group ''The Tatars of Antalya'' visited many editions, museums, libraries, concerts, talked with artists, writers, artists. ''The programme of each day was drawn up spontaneously, what was offered was supported,'' group members say. On 25 August, they laid flowers to the monument of Sadri Maksudi in the park ''Istanbul'' and the monument to Musa Dzhalil on the Pervogo Maya Square near the Kremlin.

''Public national and cultural organizations of the Tatars have been operating in several regions of Turkey for many years. Sabantuy has been held in Istanbul and Eskişehir for many years. It is very gratifying that this year the Tatars of Antalya decided to unite. That summer they have organized the first party. It was very popular and in a timely manner. Not for nothing, as soon as Oksana Nazarova created a group on Facebook, it immediately gained a lot of subscribers, and as soon as the offer to hold the national holiday was made, literally in a month all the affairs were settled. I wish them success in all their endeavours,'' said Sagit Khayri.

''It is very gratifying that this year the Tatars of Antalya decided to unite. That summer they have organized the first party. It was very popular and in a timely manner,'' said Sagit Khayri

''To make the Tatars known in Turkey''

Fanis Zyyaly is the known in Tatarstan and Turkey lawyer, one of the active members of the group ''The Tatars of Antalya''. He came from the village Uchili, Arsky district, he has lived in Turkey since 1993, and the last ten years — in Antalya. His next visit to stay in his father's house and the meeting of the group from social networks is a coincidence, he says.

''I'm glad we're united. We have many plans, the purpose of which is to preserve and develop our ethnic culture, ethnic language,'' says Fanis. ''We want modern Turkey to know who the Tatars are. Of course, the intelligentsia knows. Outstanding people of the first half of the last century, like Sadri Maksudi, Yusuf Akchura and others, at one time made a significant contribution to the cultural and scientific development of the country. But ask today an ordinary citizen about the Tatars, often he will assume that we are probably representatives of Kazakhstan. It's very sad,'' lamented Fanis Zyyaly, during this visit he bought a lot of Tatar books, especially for children — Tatar alphabet Alifba, tales, dictionaries, reference books.

According to unofficial data, about 2,000 Tatars live in Antalya region.

''There are Tatar families in Antalya, where three or four children are brought up, the problem of preserving the native language is very acute. We are very worried about the problem of preserving the native language in Tatarstan. It hurts to see how in Tatar villages in kindergartens children speak Russian… We are going to organize Tatar language courses in Antalya. We have the teacher — Khalida Akhmetova, a teacher with experience, ready to teach the native language at no cost. We even allow ourselves to dream — to open a Tatar school in the future,'' said Fanis Zyyaly.

According to Oksana Nazarova, in the near future it is planned to officially register the public organization of the Tatars of Antalya.

''I'm glad we're united. We have many plans, the purpose of which is to preserve and develop our ethnic culture, ethnic language,'' says Fanis Zyyaly

''Until that time, we used to meet in a cafe or park area, if we create our own society, we will have our own room,'' she says. There is a preliminary agreement with one mosque in the residential district Hurma, the district of Konyaalti, for holding the courses of the Tatar language. The imam of the mosque promised the Tatar diaspora to provide a room for conducting classes in their native language.

''We will create groups for children and young people who do not know the Tatar language, and separately — who wants to improve their knowledge,'' the head of the group ''The Tatars of Antalya'' shared the plans.

''The Tatars need spiritual nourishment''

Oksana Nazarova announced her intention to hold days of Tatar culture in Antalya and combine them with the Tatar national holiday — Sabantuy. The well-known actor of the Kamal theatre — Fanis Ziganshin — agreed to become the host of the festival programme. As told by the guests, Fanis Ziganshin has also been invited to the meeting. The artist promised to come to Antalya, to help organize a drama club there, as well as to act as the presenter on Sabantuy.

''For me, it was an unusual meeting. In my memory, it is the first delegation of the Tatars from another region that filled its stay in the heart of the Tatar national and cultural life — in Kazan — with such meaningful meetings and business communication. The Tatars away from their homeland need spiritual nourishment, so the development and preservation of the native culture, art will help them to quench this 'thirst','' Fanis Ziganshin shared his opinion.

The artist promised to come to Antalya, to help organize a drama club there, as well as to act as the presenter on Sabantuy

Oksana Nazarova, in turn, expressed her gratitude to everyone who shared advice and experience for the further development of the society ''The Tatars of Antalya''. ''When organizing events, solving urgent problems, we will always need advice from Kazan, Tatarstan. When we obtain the official registration, we want to cooperate with the World Congress of the Tatars,'' she concluded.

By Lilia Bikeeva. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov
Tatarstan