Context of Tatarstan

Tatarstan (Tatar: Татарстан; Russian: Татарстан), officially the Republic of Tatarstan, sometimes also called Tataria, is a republic of the Russian Federation, located in Eastern Europe. It is a part of the Volga Federal District; and its capital and largest city is Kazan, an important cultural centre in Russia.

The republic borders the oblasts of Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg, as well as the republics of Mari El, Udmurtia, Chuvashia, and Bashkortostan. The area of the republic is 68,000 square kilometres (26,000 sq mi), occupying 0.4% of the total surface of the country. As of the 2021 Census, the population of Tatarstan was 4,004,809.

Tatarstan has strong cultural, linguistic, and ethnic ties with its eastern neighbour Bashkortostan.

The official languages of the republic are Tatar and Russian.

More about Tatarstan

Population, Area & Driving side
  • Population 3894120
  • Area 67847
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    Middle Ages

    The earliest known organized state within the boundaries of Tatarstan was Volga Bulgaria (c. 700–1238). The Volga Bulgars had an advanced mercantile state with trade contacts throughout Inner Eurasia, the Middle East, and the Baltic, which maintained its independence despite pressure by such nations as the Khazars, the Kievan Rus, and the Cuman-Kipchaks. Islam was introduced by missionaries from Baghdad around the time of Ibn Fadlan's journey in 922.

    Bolgar archeological works

    Volga Bulgaria finally fell to the armies of the Mongol prince Batu Khan in the late 1230s (see Mongol invasion of Volga Bulgaria). The inhabitants, a large amount of them killed and the rest mixing with the Golden Horde's Kipchaks, became known as the "Volga Tatars". In the 1430s, the region again became independent as the base of the Khanate of Kazan, a capital having been established in Kazan, 170 km (110 mi) up the Volga from the ruined capital of the Bulgars.

    The Khanate of Kazan was conquered by the troops of Tsar Ivan the Terrible in the 1550s, with Kazan being taken in 1552. A large number of tatars were forcibly converted to Christianity and were culturally Russified.[1] Cathedrals were built in Kazan; by 1593 all mosques in the area were destroyed. The Russian government forbade the construction of mosques, a prohibition that was not lifted until the 18th century by Catherine the Great. The first mosque to be rebuilt under Catherine's auspices was constructed in 1766–1770.

    19th century
    An ancient mosque in Bolgar

    Wahhabi influence, originally thought to have entered Russia after the Soviet Union's breakup, is now believed to have entered sooner through Middle East students and broadcasts.[2]

    Between 1783 and 1900, the Crimean Tatars - the majority of Crimea's population - were persecuted and nearly-totally expelled from Crimea by the Russian Empire. They now largely reside in Central Asia.[3]

    In the 19th century, Tatarstan became a center of Jadidism, an Islamic movement that preached tolerance of other religions. Under the influence of local Jadidist theologians, the Bulgars were renowned for their friendly relations with other peoples of the Russian Empire. However, after the October Revolution religion was largely outlawed and all theologians were repressed.

    20th century

    During the Civil War of 1918–1920 Tatar nationalists attempted to establish an independent republic (the Idel-Ural State, Idel being the name of the Volga in Tatar) along with the neighboring Bashkirs. Initially supported by the Bolsheviks, the state existed up until March 1918, when high-ranking members of its parliament were arrested by the Bolsheviks (who had turned on the state and denounced it as bourgeois) before the official declaration of its constitution. The Soviets later set up the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which was established on May 27, 1920.[4] The boundaries of the republic did not include a majority of the Volga Tatars. The Tatar Union of the Godless were persecuted in Joseph Stalin's 1928 purges.

    The left wing of the White Mosque

    A famine occurred in the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1921–1922 as a result of the policy of war communism. The famine deaths of between 500.000 and 2 million Tatars in the Tatar ASSR and in the Volga-Ural region in 1921–1922 was catastrophic as half of the Volga Tatar population in the USSR died.[5]

    Starting in the 1960s, schools opened in Tatarstan that taught Russian as an official second language, as it was necessary in order to individually advance in the broader Soviet society. By the 1980s, few schools still taught the Tatar language.[6]

    Present day
    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Tatarstan, June 2011

    On August 30, 1990, Tatarstan declared its sovereignty with the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Tatar Soviet Socialist Republic[7] and in 1992 Tatarstan held a referendum on the new constitution,[8] promoted by Tatarstan's President Shaymiyev and supervised by Helsinki Commission staff. Parliament opposition revolved around the Russian faction Narodovlastie (People's Power).[9] Some 62% of those who took part voted in favor of the constitution, with ethnic Tatars supporting it much more than Russians.[9] In the new constitution, Tatarstan is defined as a Sovereign State. However, the referendum and constitution were declared unconstitutional by the Russian Constitutional Court.[10] Articles 1 and 3 of the Constitution as introduced in 2002[8] define Tatarstan as a part of the Russian Federation, removing the "sovereignty" term.

    On February 15, 1994, the Treaty On Delimitation of Jurisdictional Subjects and Mutual Delegation of Authority between the State Bodies of the Russian Federation and the State Bodies of the Republic of Tatarstan[11] and Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan (On Delimitation of Authority in the Sphere of Foreign Economic Relations) were signed. The power-sharing agreement was renewed on July 11, 2007, though with much of the power delegated to Tatarstan reduced.[12]

    On December 20, 2008, in response to Russia recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People organization declared Tatarstan independent and asked for United Nations recognition.[13] However, this declaration was ignored both by the United Nations and the Russian government. On July 24, 2017, the autonomy agreement signed in 1994 between Moscow and Kazan expired, making Tatarstan the last republic of Russia to lose its special status.[14]

    ^ DERRICK, MATTHEW A. "TERRITORY AND THE CHANGING SHAPE OF TATAR ISLAM IN TSARIST AND SOVIET RUSSIA | MATTHEW A. DERRICK | IJORS International Journal of Russian Studies". ^ Sela, Ron; Sartori, Paolo; DeWeese, Devin, eds. (November 21, 2022). Muslim Religious Authority in Central Eurasia. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-52709-6. ^ "Crimean Tatars are among the most politically persecuted groups in Russia". Global Voices. March 15, 2023. Retrieved March 20, 2023. ^ Cite error: The named reference Established was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference zqvRo was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Suleymanova, Dilyara (2020). Pedagogies of culture: schooling and identity in post-Soviet Tatarstan, Russia. Anthropological Studies of Education Ser. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-030-27245-6. ^ Cite error: The named reference dofsovereignty was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ a b Cite error: The named reference tatarconstitution was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ a b United States. Congress. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. (1992). Report on the Tatarstan referendum on soverignty [sic]: March 21, 1992, Kazan and Pestretsy. Washington, D.C.: The Commission. ^ Cite error: The named reference rAcdz was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference yCTpN was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference NdHNN was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference DAoGA was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ Cite error: The named reference tmF0x was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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