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By Greta Lynn Uehling (auth.)
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Extra info for Beyond memory: The crimean tatars’ deportation and return
Veli Ibrahimov facilitated the process, and is now viewed as the person most responsible for bringing about the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Crimean ASSR). The “Golden Age” of the Crimean ASSR One of the hotter topics in Tatar historiography is whether the basis for this republic was territorial or national. The Crimean Tatars cite Soviet nationalities policy about the national basis of the republic, but Russians and Ukrainians point to various decrees that suggest it was not a national, but a territorial autonomy.
Russian and Soviet sources tend to 32 Beyond Memory emphasize dependence on the Ottomans, using the term “vassal” to describe the relationship. Crimean Tatar sources emphasize independence. They point out that even if it relied on the Ottomans, the Crimean Khanate possessed all the characteristics of a fully developed, premodern state. The Khanate had a well-established legal system incorporating Asian elements into a system modeled on the Ottomans. It functioned as a constitutional monarchy in the sense that while the khan was head of state, power was shared between the khan, mirza (lower Tatar nobility), and beys (Tatar tribal leaders).
The rationale that it was foreign policy and not political ideology influencing Soviet behavior also helps explain the treatment the Crimean Tatar National Movement received later on. The Crimean Tatars were not rehabilitated and returned because the Soviets saw greater value in keeping them dispersed from one another and isolated from Turkish social networks.