Oguz Kaan Kısa · Jan. 21, 2021
Tatars, an ethnic group that defined Crimea as their homeland for most of the millennia, were given the option to declare independence from Ukraine in 1992. Due to the peninsula's limited resources and minority status, Crimean residents are instead part of Ukraine, which has local autonomy for native Tatars.
Most of the Crimean Tatars were deported to Eastern Russia after World War II on the orders of Joseph Stalin. This was done to increase Moscow's influence on the Crimean peninsula, a strategic maritime asset. When Ukraine declared its independence in 1991 and autonomy was granted to Crimea in 1992, thousands of Tatars returned to Crimea after being exiled in Russia for generations.
The Russian spelling of the word Crimean Tatar causes many controversies until today. According to the rules of Russian linguistics, the word Crimean Tatar (krımskotatarskiy / крымскотатарский) must have a contiguous correspondence, but in Russia this word is written with a dash (крымско-татарский). In Russian, there is a rule that if the conjunction "and" can be put between a difficult word, the word must be written with a hyphen. Thus, the Russians are deliberately trying to separate the Crimean and Crimean Tatars. In Ukraine, the word Crimean Tatar is written adjacent.