Historical tragedies of Crimean Tatars, Circassians remembered
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
“On the night of May 17-18, 1944, some 250,000 Crimean Tatars torned away from their motherland. Tens of thousands of Crimean Tatars perished under the inhumane circumstances of this exile, carried out 75 years ago. Many of them passed away in exile under harsh conditions, yearning for their homeland,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.
The Crimean Tatars were deported to various regions within Soviet territory, in particular Siberia and Uzbekistan. Almost half of the exiles, who endured long months of dire living conditions, are thought to have died of starvation and disease.
Nearly 1.5 million Circassians were expelled from the region to the east of the Black Sea when it was overrun by Russia in 1864. Some 400,000-500,000 are believed to have died.
Most of the Circassian exiles were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, settling as far away as present-day Jordan.