Exactly 105 years ago, on December 9, 1917, the opening of the 1st Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people took place in the Khan’s Palace in Bakhchysarai. But do you know what Qurultay is and why this event is very important in the history of the Crimean Tatars?
The Crimean Tatar people are very famous for their high ability for self-organization and socio-political mobilization. And it is the general representative body of the indigenous people – the Qurultay – that is the highest manifestation of the self-organization of the Crimean Tatars.
So, the Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people is the national assembly, the highest representative authority of the Crimean Tatar people, the first convocation of which took place exactly on December 9, 1917. Its meeting lasted 18 days. The Qurultay consisted of 76 delegates, and Noman Çelebicihan, Cafer Seydamet, Seitdzhelil Khattat, Abdul Hakim Khilmi, Zaredin Efendi, Shefika Gaspıralı and Amet Ozenbashli were elected to the Presidium of the Qurultay.
During the meetings, various issues related to the peninsula were considered: the state structure of Crimea, the relations of the Crimean Tatars with other peoples of the peninsula, lawmaking, the creation of legislative and executive authorities. And on the last day of work, the Qurultay proclaimed the Crimean People's Republic, adopted the Constitution and elected the leadership of the Qurultay as a national parliament.
By the way, the democratic foundations of the state system were enshrined in the Constitution – universal suffrage, the abolition of titles and class privileges, as well as the equality of men and women. Indeed, a Crimean Tatar woman was one of the first in Europe to receive the right to vote, because among the 76 delegates there were 4 Crimean Tatars.
The II extraordinary session of the VI Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people was held on March 29, 2014 in Bakhchysarai. However, the further activities of the representative bodies of the Crimean Tatars in the conditions of the occupation of Crimea by Russia turned out to be impossible.
It is important that the status of the Mejlis and Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people is confirmed by the Decree of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine No. 1140-VII of March 20, 2014 "On the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on guaranteeing the rights of the Crimean Tatar people within the Ukrainian State."
So, the convocation of the First Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people became a symbol of the rise of the national movement during the Crimean Tatar revolution of 1917-1919 and testified to the desire for self-determination of the indigenous people of Crimea.