Crimean Tatar Place Names
Following the deportation of Crimean Tatars in May 1944, the Soviet authorities took measures to remove all the historical, cultural, and linguistic traces of Crimean Tatar people on the peninsula. They destroyed the cemeteries and mosques, and burned the written records of Crimean Tatars, from ancient manuscripts to Marxist-Leninist books. Such ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing also included changing the Crimean Tatar and Turkic names of villages, towns, and cities. In December 1944, the authorities changed the names of cities and districts, which was followed by an order, issued on 21 August 1945, to change the names of villages. During the process, many villages were also closed to habitation and erased from the map of Crimea.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Crimean Tatars were able to return to their homeland, mostly in the early 1990s. Today, approximately 275,000 Tatars live in Crimea, trying to reestablish their lives despite many social and economic obstacles. Changing the current names of their hometowns back to their original Tatar names has been one of their many demands, including land distribution and political representation.
The International Committee for Crimea is pleased to make available on the Web a list of original Crimean Tatar place names, their corresponding Russian names, and the Rayon or district in which they are located. (Please note that the entire list, divided into three parts, is a relatively large file, and it may take a few seconds to load each section.)
Also included is a list of Extinct Crimean Tatar Villages, which were closed to habitation after the mass deportation. It lists the places under the original names of major cities/districts, with corresponding Russian names shown in parentheses.
For a map of Crimea, with the original Crimean Tatar place names, see:
Altogether the lists include over 900 place names. We hope that many individuals seeking their roots in Crimea will be able to locate the place of their ancestors with the aid of these lists and the map provided by Kursat Çagiltay.References:
Ünver Sel, Kirim ve Kirim Türkleri (Ankara, 1997), pp. 13-36. [Includes the list of place names]
I. Ametov, "Kirim'da Köy Adlarinin Degistirilmesi," Kirim
Dergisi 6 (23): 27, 1998.
Alan Fisher, The Crimean Tatars, (Stanford, 1978), pp. 171-72.
Turkish version: Kirim Toponimleri