Mustafa Dzhemilev

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Mustafa Dzhemilev
Mustafa Abdülcemil Kırımoğlu.jpg
Chairman of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
In office
Succeeded by Refat Cubarov
People's Deputy of Ukraine
Assumed office
29 March 1998
Personal details
Born Mustafa Abdülcemil
(1943-11-13) November 13, 1943 (age 78)
Ay-Serez, Crimean ASSR, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Citizenship  Ukraine
Nationality Crimean Tatar
Political party Rukh
Other political
Our Ukraine
Religion Sunni Islam

Mustafa Abduldzhemil Dzhemilev (Crimean Tatar: Mustafa Abdülcemil Cemilev, Мустафа Абдульджемиль Джемилев, Russian: Мустафа́ Абдулджеми́ль Джеми́лев, Ukrainian: Мустафа́ Абдульджемі́ль Джемі́лєв), also known widely with his adopted descriptive surname Qırımoğlu (Crimean Tatar Cyrillic: Къырымогълу, Russian: Кырымоглу́, Ukrainian: Киримоглу́), is former Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People[1][2] and a member of the Ukrainian Parliament since 1998. He is the recognized leader of the Crimean Tatar National Movement and a former Soviet dissident.[3]


Life in the Soviet Union

Dzhemilev was born on November 13, 1943 in Ay-Serez, Crimea, then Russian SFSR, though at the time under Nazi German occupation. He was only six months old when his family, with the rest of the Crimean Tatar population, was deported by Soviet authorities in May 1944, soon after Soviet forces retook the peninsula.[4] He grew up in exile, in Uzbekistan.

At the age of 18, Dzhemilev and several of his activist friends established the Union of Young Crimean Tatars. He thus began the arduous and long struggle for the recognition of the rights of Crimean Tatars to return to their homeland. Between 1966 and 1986, Dzhemilev was arrested six times for anti-Soviet activities and served time in Soviet prisons and labor camps, or lived under surveillance.[5] Dzhemilev is also remembered for going on the longest hunger strike in the history of human rights movements. The hunger strike lasted for 303 days, but he survived due to forced feeding.

In May 1989, he was elected to head the newly founded Crimean Tatar National Movement. The same year he returned to Crimea with his family, a move that would be followed by the eventual return of 250,000 Tatars to their homeland.

On June 3rd, 2014 he was the first to receive the Lech Walesa-prize of solidarity.

Ukrainian politics

During the Ukrainian parliamentary election, 1998 he was elected into the Ukrainian parliament on the Rukh list;[6] in 2002,[7] 2006[8] and 2007[8] he was re-elected as a member of Our Ukraine.[8]

Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko stated in October 2009 that a grouping related to Taliban and Al-Qaeda called "At-Takfir val-Hijra" had been preparing an attempt on Dzhemilev's life; two members of the group were arrested.[1]

Early November 2011 Dzhemilev announced his retirement from politics.[9] But during the 2012 parliamentary elections he joined the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" election list and was re-elected to parliament.[10][11]

In the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election Dzhemilev was re-elected into parliament after being in the top 10 of the electoral list of Petro Poroshenko Bloc.[12][13]

Crimean crisis

Dzhemilev was in Ankara during the Crimean referendum. After the preliminary results of the referendum were announced, he held a joint press conference with the Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Dzhemilev declared that the Mejlis had a stance identical with Turkey in considering the referendum illegal and claimed that the results were manipulated by Russia.[14]

In April 2014 Dzhemilev was handed a document on the Ukrainian border informing him he is banned by federal law from entering Russian territory for five years. The typewritten document was unsigned, with no official heading, and was made public by the Crimean Tatar parliament, the Mejlis.[15]A spokesman for the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) said the agency did not have any information on the travel ban. On the 3rd of May Mustafa tried to cross the "border" between the Kherson oblast and the breakaway Republic of Crimea, but he was unable to do so, due to Russian occupational forces blocking the road with tanks.[16]


He has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize several times, by various NGOs and persons.[17] [18] [19]

Nansen Medal

In October 1998, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees awarded Dzhemilev the Nansen Medal for his outstanding efforts and "his commitment to the right of return of the Crimean Tatars." In an interview Dzhemilev gave shortly after receiving the Nansen Medal, he emphasized that "when violent means are used, innocent people die, and no just cause can justify the taking of innocent lives." The Crimean Tatar National Movement has been marked by persistent reliance on non-violence.

Turkish Order of the Republic

On April 14, 2014 Dzhemilev was awarded the Order of the Republic by Turkish President Abdullah Gül.[20]

Polish Solidarity Prize

On May 7, 2014 Mustafa Dzhemilev has been awarded - being thus its first recipient - the Solidarity Prize[21] by the Republic of Poland.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Police opens case against criminal organization in Crimea, Kyiv Post (November 25, 2009)
  2. Regions and territories: Crimea, BBC News
  3. "Back into exile: The life of Mustafa Dzhemilev is a parable of the Crimean Tatars' struggles". The Economist. 20 June 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. International Committee for Crimea - Surgun: Deportation of Crimean Tatars (18 May 1944)
  5. Crimean Prosecutor Threatens Tatar Council With Crackdown by Philip Shishkin, Wall Street Journal (May 5, 2014)
  6. Ethnicity and Territory in the Former Soviet Union: Regions in Conflict (Cass Series in Regional & Federal Studies) by Dr James Hughes and Gwendolyn Sasse, Routledge, 2001, ISBN 978-0-7146-5226-9, page 98
  7. Explaining the Low Intensity of Ethnopolitical Conflict in Ukraine by Susan Stewart, Lit Verlag, 2005, ISBN 978-3-8258-8331-7, page 194
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Dual p, Kyiv Post (July 9, 2009)
  9. (Russian) Лидер крымских татар объявил об уходе из политики, Lenta.Ru (8 November 2011)
  10. Mustafa Dzhemiliov is number 12 on the list of the United Opposition “Fatherland”, Den (2 August 2012)
  11. Party of Regions gets 185 seats in Ukrainian parliament, Batkivschyna 101 - CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2012)
  12. General official results of Rada election, Interfax-Ukraine (11 November 2014)
    Central Election Commission announces official results of Rada election on party tickets, Interfax-Ukraine (11 November 2014)
  13. Petro Poroshenko Bloc: Facts and Details, Sputnik News (25.10.2014)
  14. Davutoğlu: Referandumun sonuçları kabul edilemez, Hürriyet (17 March 2014)
  15. Crimean authorities move against Tatars and their leader 22.April.2014 Euronews
  16. Russia denies travel ban on Crimean Tatar ex-leader April 23, 2014,
  20. "Cumhurbaşkanı Gül'den, Kırım Tatarları Lideri Kırımoğlu'na Cumhuriyet Nişanı (Turkish)". Presidency of Republic of Turkey. 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-04-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Mustafa Dżemilew pierwszym laureatem Nagrody Solidarności" (in polski). Polish MFA. 2014-05-07. Retrieved 2014-06-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


For more information about Mustafa Dzhemilev and related links to his interviews and writings, see the Web site of the International Committee for Crimea.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
position introduced
Chairman of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
Succeeded by
Refat Cubarov