Friday, August 28, 2009

Musa Jalil - in English

Letters From the Dead
( 1941 -- 1945 )


True to its pledge is my heart to the last,
When doom overcasts my brow.
It was songs I gave to my land in the past;
’Tis my life I must give her now.
Singing, I welcomed the fragrance of spring,
Singing, I fought and bled.
Today the last of my songs I sing:
The axe hangs over my head.
It was songs that taught me freedom to prize,
Now they bid me to die as a Fighter.
My life was a love-song that soared to the skies,
Let my death be the battle-song of a fighter.


Friend, do not grieve that we depart so soon.
Death lies in store for everyone on earth.
Man lay the limits of his years himself.
But years are not the yardstick of life’s worth,
Nor is the time between one’s birth and death
A credit worthy measure of its length.
Blood spilled in the defence of a just cause
Brings heroes deathlessness, their cause-immortal

October 1943


Your song breathes fire, your song breathes love
For your native land-what more?
Nay, soldiers are not famed for songs,
But for their deeds at war.

Say, poet, did you rise and fight
When the hour of battle came?
In crucial times that try men’s souls
The bold alone win fame.

To fight and win, to crush the foe,
One must be firm and brave.
Courage alone brings liberty.
The coward stays a slave.

Entreaties are of no avail
When men succumb to chains.
But he who fights with sword in hand
Forever free remains.

What worth is there in life enthralled,
What happiness in gaol?
Life’s beauty lies in liberty.
All joys before it pale.

Your name lives on when you give your
To free familiar parts.
The traitor’s blood is mixed with mud.
The hero’s fires men’s hearts.

The hero, dying, does not die.
His fame survives his death.
Then fight and glorify your name,
Fight, whilst you draw your breath!

December 1943


Bluish-grey and snow-bound streets.
Blizzards blow their last.
Three guards with automatic guns
Lead their victim past,

Past houses veiled with falling snow,
Through the silent night.
And there, behind their snow-cloaked
Spring burgeons, fair and bright.

Bluish-grey and snow-bound streets.
Blizzards blow their last.
Three guards are levelling their guns.
Their victim’s days are past.


December 1943

To the friend who can understand Tatar and will read this notebook.

It was written by the Tatar people’s poet Musa Jalil. After suffering all the horrors of a nazi prison camp without yielding to the fear of the forty deaths, he was taken to Berlin. Here he was accused of being involved in an underground organisation and the distribution of Soviet propaganda ... and put in prison. He will be sentenced to death and die. But he leaves behind 115 poems composed while behind bars. He is concerned for them. Out of the 115 he has therefore attempted to copy at least 60.

If this little book comes into your hands, write out a fair copy carefully and accurately, keep it in a safe place and after the war get it to Kazan, have it published as the poems of the Tatar people’s dead poet. That is my dying wish.

Musa Jalil. 1943. December


December 1943

In prison September 1942-November 1943-wrote 125 verses and one big poem. But will they ever see the light? They’ll die with me.


Not later than March 1944

I, well-known Tatar poet Musa Jalil, am locked in the Moabit gaol for my politics and am sentenced to be shot.... Please give my best regards to A. Fadeyev, P. Tychina and my family.

Musa Jalil (Musa Zalilov), the celebrated Tatar poet, was born in 1906 into a poor peasant family in the village of Mustafino, near Orenburg. After joining the Y.C.L. m 1919 he began to write poetry, sounding the call for battle for Soviet power. After finishing his studies he took up full-time Y.C.L. work and wrote poetry at the same time. One of his early works was the libretto to the famous Tatar opera Altynchech. In 1939, he was elected President of the Tatar Union of Writers.

At the very outset of the war Musa Jalil joined the army and after taking a political workers’ training course he was posted to the Volkhov Front, to the 2nd Strike Force. In July of 1942, he ran into an ambush near Myasnoi Bor and, badly wounded, was taken prisoner and put in a prison camp near Helm in Poland. At the end of the year he was still a sick man when he was transferred to the Demblinski p.o.w. camp where he commenced his illegal work against the nazis. The next spring Jalil was dispatched to Germany, to the Wustrau camp not far from Berlin. On instructions from the underground he began operating in the "Ideal Urals" committee, which recruited legionnaires for Hitler’s army among the Tatars, Bashkirs and other Soviet eastern nationalities. Utilising his opportunity of visiting many war camps, Jalil did what he could to see that an underground group was operating well in every camp. Together with Jalil in the resistance organisation was Abdulla Alishev, Tatar children’s writer, whom Musa Jalil knew from Kazan, Ahmed Simayev, a Moscow journalist, an old friend of Jalil’s from his Zamoskvorechye days when he worked at a Tatar young workers’ home, Garif Shabayev, insurance agent from Tashkent, engineer Fuad Bulatov, etc.

In early summer 1943, Jalil left for the Tatar legion’s Central Edlin camp, situated near Radom, some 70 miles south of Warsaw. The propaganda company in which Jalil worked was made the underground centre in the Edlin camp. The underground fighters were preparing for an uprising. But on the night of August 12, all the underground members were arrested after being given away by a traitor. First they were sent to a Warsaw gaol, then to Berlin, to the Moabit prison. The investigation dragged on for six months until eventually, in March 1944, a Dresden court sentenced them all to the firing squad. After the sentence, Jalil and his companions languished in Berlin’s Tegel and Spandau gaols. They were executed at the end of the year.

Musa Zalilov (Jalil) was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union and his literary works gained the supreme Soviet award-the Lenin Prize.

His friends kept the three notebooks in which he had written his beautiful poems. The first book contains sixty poems in closely-written Arabic ligature. It was presented to the Tatar Union of Writers in 1946. The second book, containing fifty poems written in Tatar with Latin letters, was handed in at the Soviet Consulate in Brussels in 1947. It had been preserved by Andre Timmermans, a Belgian antifascist who had shared the same cell as Jalil in Moabit. Later on another book came to light.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tatar Chat

This room was empty the last time I popped in, but I hope to see more. You need to know Tatar in Cyrillic to be able to participate.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tatarcha Firefox Browser

Firefox'nı İdíl-Ural Tatarçalaştırır.Waqıtlı bularaq, HTTP soramlarında saytlarğa ciberilgen about:config terezesíndegí intl.accept_languages qıymetí qullanuçı-bilgílemelí tügíl ise, anı Törkçe Firefox'tağı kíbík şulay caylıy: tr-TR, tr, en-us, en. Östewíne, yene de HTTP soramlarında ciberilgen Qullanuçı-Wekilí (User-Agent) qıymetí de Törkçe Firefox'tağı kíbík caylana, yeğni Qullanuçı-Wekilíníñ tíl-il qıymetí bularaq tr qullanılır. Tefsilât öçön öy sexifesín ziyaret itígíz.

Bashkort People of Chally - чаллы башқортлары

"We Are Bashkort People"

Radif Kashapov - Tatar Rock

"Don't Be Shy, Nobody's Lookin'"

Who Says Genghis is Dead?

Tuva Throat Rap "Ondar"

Tatar Lovelies

Who sent us this picture? Doesn't matter. It's good enough to post. Rahmet.

Farewell, Tatar Woman

This has to win the prize for most-absurd posting.
John Wayne as Genghis Khan.
The good thing is that now we know what to say instead of "Sau Buligiz" every time.

Tatarstan National Anthem


I used to pass so many ways and used to see the world
And tender winds ironed my face.
But only when I returned back at home,
I was the happiest man in the world.

And even if I leave you for one day
I sadly miss You.
I think, my edge, that if You weren't exist,
I couldn't live in this world.

And even if I leave You for one day
I feel like an orphan.
Just only your beautiful life
Is the charming of the world

and no, I didn't personally translate this

"Volga Tatar Guys"

This above vid was posted originally by youtube user "Elfiya"

Kazan on The Volga 1812

Turkish Map of TATARİSTAN

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Most Hideous of Images

Poverty in Russia - peasants from the Kazan region selling their own children to avoid dying of hunger, published in the newspaper La Domenica del Corriere, 1910

Tatar Muslims from Atlantic Monthly

Islam versus the pleasure principle: Russian muftis have condemned the war in Afghanistan, but Tatar Muslims have other things on their minds, like Mork & Mindy.
Jeffrey Tayler.
2002 The Atlantic Monthly Magazine

On November 14 of last year the chairman of the Council of Russian Muftis, Mufti Sheikh Ravil Gainutdin, announced that the victims of the war in Afghanistan were not the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The real victims, he said, were the "completely innocent civilian population of Afghan villages and cities." He went on to warn that the "struggle with international terrorism" was "taking on an ever more bellicose, anti-Islamic character" and was "intensifying confrontational moods between followers of Islam and other religious traditions." Gainutdin's statement, issued on behalf of the Muslim community of Russia, followed the even harsher comments made in a press conference eleven days earlier by his vice-chairman, Mufti Sheikh Nafigulla Ashirov, who had described the war as "criminal" and had denounced the Russian government for supporting a "U.S. crusade against Islam." Ashirov concluded his remarks by citing the "direct threat" that the American presence in Central Asia posed to Russian national interests. "Once we let the Americans into this region," he declared, "they'll never leave." Reports were circulating in the press that Muslims in Tatarstan, an oil-producing Russian republic some 500 miles east of Moscow, had approached a Tatar nationalist organization hoping to volunteer to fight alongside the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
War-minded Tatars, it turned out, numbered only about seventy--out of a population of 3.8 million, approximately half of whom are Muslim. But the muftis' strong words appeared to bode ill for the Kremlin, and not just because President Vladimir Putin has supported the United States in its fight against terrorism. If Tatarstan's Muslims were to rise up against Russian rule, as have the Chechens, they could create chaos in the heart of Russia and potentially disrupt oil exports, on which the country's economy heavily depends. A revival of Islam, which languished along with Orthodox Christianity during the Soviet era, is indeed under way, and the statistics are impressive: since the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991, the number of mosques in Tatarstan has grown from eighteen to more than a thousand, and an Islamic university has been founded to train the young for, among other things, service in mosques, makhallya (religious communities), and madrassas (religious schools). The revival serves the interests of Tatar nationalists, and insofar as it strengthens Tatar nationalism and remains moderate in nature, it has garnered the support of the republic's government, led by President Mintimer Sharipovich Shaimiyev.
All this being so, one might reasonably expect to find in Tatarstan the "confrontational moods" of which Gainutdin warned. To assess the situation, I recently traveled to Kazan, the republic's capital--a decrepit city on the Volga overshadowed by a white-walled kremlin on whose grounds stand both the Russian Orthodox Petropavlovsky Cathedral and the towering, Ottoman-style Kul Sharif Mosque. The mosque is not out of place here: Islam in Tatarstan antedates Christianity, having come to the region from Baghdad in A.D. 922.
What I discovered in Kazan was a happily mixed population of Tatars and Russians, Muslims and Christians, enjoying not just the amenities of secular life that are prevalent elsewhere in Russia but even many of the trappings of Western and, in particular, American culture. Bauman Street--the city's main pedestrian thoroughfare, which sits beneath the kremlin walls and the minarets of Kul Sharif--boasts the upscale perfume shop Image, a Reebok store, and a McDonald's. Bookshops and newsstands abound, carrying biographies of Marilyn Monroe, Salvador Dali, and Albert Einstein along with all the publications of the Russian tabloid press, which amount to little more than a collage of bare breasts and buttocks mixed with stories about sex and Hollywood scandals. A translation of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People was selling well, as were the novels of Tom Clancy and Sidney Sheldon. I could find little in the way of Islamic literature, or religious literature of any kind. Tatarstan's two local television stations broadcast almost no religious programming but lots of Mork & Mindy, Magnum P.I., Batman, Beverly Hills 90210, Scooby-Doo, and professional wrestling, interspersed with an endless array of B-grade American thrillers. In five days of touring Kazan, I saw perhaps two or three women wearing the yaulyk (as the traditional Islamic head scarf is called in Tatar). Much more common were Russian-style fur hats, form-fitting coats, and high-heeled boots.
Venturing out in the evening, I found that I had a broad choice of entertainment venues, none of which would have been to the Taliban's liking. These included the Manhattan Club, where customers downed beer, vodka, and mixed drinks as they bowled to Western pop tunes, often after buying cigarettes from the Camel vending machine by the door; the Fashion Club, where male and female striptease artists performed to an eager and grasping audience (striptease acts are common in Kazan's nightclubs, as they are in the rest of Russia); and the more or less sedate Jolly Roger's bar. Thoroughly un-Islamic was the Gentlemen Club, where young women offered patrons three varieties of private lap dance: "prostoy" (simple), "dostupnyi" (touching allowed), or "goryachii" (hot). If I had wanted just to get drank, I could have visited the Raki Beer Bar, next to the kremlin, and spent an evening drinking Krasnyi Vostok (the locally brewed beer) or potent traditional liqueurs. The city's premier cinema, the Druzhba, was featuring three American movies (Don't Say a Word, Artificial In telligence, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) and a French one (Vidocq). Before and after the shows patrons of the Druzhba could (and did) enjoy beer, vodka, and American soft drinks sold at a mirrored bar on the second floor. Kazan's circus offered children a chance to see Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost, the Russian equivalent of Santa Claus).
If these spectacles aroused Muslim ire, I saw and heard no indication of it. What one sees of Islam in Kazan is a moderate and intimidated manifestation. Shortly after arriving, I visited Gabdrashit Zakirov, a vice-rector of the Russian Islamic University, in his office. The university has been operating since 1998, but although tuition is free, it has only 148 students--a small number indeed, given that Kazan itself has half a million Muslim inhabitants. Dressed in navy-blue Tatar robes and a black tyubetey (skullcap), Zakirov seemed like the sort of observant Muslim the muftis might claim to speak for. But he professed ignorance of the incendiary remarks made by Gainutdin and Ashirov. The war against the Taliban and al Qaeda, he told me, was a "matter for politicians," not religious men, and in any case it was taking place "thousands of kilometers away" so he knew "little about it." When I pressed him for the religious point of view on what he did know, he said that all he could offer would be an "emotional answer of no real value"--and then declined to give me even that. He did tell me that since Russia's law protecting freedom of speech and worship recognizes "the special role of the Orthodox Church [which has expressed support for the U.S. military action following September 11] in Russian history" he feared that Russian Muslims were now coming to be seen as "internal enemies"--a remark suggesting that his reticence was rooted in a fear of the state. The most assertive declaration he made to me was that Moscow's policy on the war should take into account the interests of Russian Muslims.
I then telephoned Abdulkhak Khazret, the imam of one of Kazan's most prominent functioning mosques, al-Mardzhani. Khazret told me that he would not meet me to discuss the war, because "many people have talked about the subject, so I wouldn't add much new ... This is a political question, and I'm not a politician." When I stressed that I wanted the Islamic perspective and so was turning to him, he developed difficulty in speaking Russian. "Oh ... I have trouble, you see, putting word to word, my Russian no good. Sorry ..."
At the Tatar-American Regional Institute, where I visited an Arabic class, the students were more talkative. Emma, the only young woman in the class wearing a yaulyk, told me that she feels uncomfortable going about in public with the scarf on: it makes her the object of stares and derogatory remarks. Her bareheaded Arabic teacher, Zulfiya, concurred, saying that her parents objected if she wore the yaulyk. "Why are you wearing that scarf?" they would say to her. "You're young and beautiful but you're dressing like a grandma!"
I brought up the war in Chechnya, an emotional issue in much of the Islamic world--but not, it turned out, in Kazan. The conflict, Zulfiya told me, was about money, not religion; it was a "political affair," and "we don't know the real story behind it"; it was therefore "doubtful" that the Chechens' struggle constituted a "jihad." Just what did Islam mean for the students? It meant being urged by parents to keep the uraza (the fast of Ramadan) or to attend jumga (Friday prayer ceremony); but few said that they complied, and all defended their right to decide on their own if they wanted to practice their faith. One young woman in another class found my interest in Islam misplaced. "Excuse me, but for seventy years [the Soviets] destroyed religion here, so Islam plays no part in our life. You should ask us about something else."
She had a point. During the Soviet era atheistic education and the closing of mosques and churches ensured a waning of religious beliefs and practices. And certainly repression has played a historical role in the modest position that Islam occupies in Tatar life. Ivan the Terrible conquered Kazan in 1522, after which he killed or expelled the city's Muslim population. Later czars pursued subtler anti-Islamic policies, with the result that many Tatars converted to Christianity, and the Russian and Tatar aristocracies began to intermarry. The majority of Muslims in Kazan today fall easily into secular habits, because Islam is a minority faith in a culturally Orthodox Christian country, and Tatarstan's location in the middle of Russia permits no easy access to the Muslim lands on Russia's southern periphery.
All that being said, what truly sustains secularism in Tatarstan today, and what gives the harsh words of prominent muftis little purchase among the masses, is something else--the relatively free market, which provides Tatars with a ready supply of Western pleasures and products, not to mention ideas, of which the Soviet system had deprived them. It is exactly this sort of market-driven secularism that many Muslim clerics fear--and with good reason.

this article is several years old, but has relevance

Bashkir Goose Feather Holiday

Come winter and hard frosts, and the people of Bashkiria celebrate the Goose Feather Holiday. The goose is the most popular domestic bird (and meal) in Bashkiria. A Bashkir housewife may raise up to a 100 geese a year, so she needs a helping hand from neighbors at the time of the holiday. After the geese are butchered and plucked, the neighbors must praise the host's geese. Then the neighbors are treated to a lavish meal including bliny. Following the meal, according to tradition, the women hang the geese on a koromyslo--a yoke--and carry the geese to the river. There they plunge the geese carcasses into icy water so that they are covered with an icy crust, inside which they can be preserved, hanging in the barn, until spring.

(from "Russian Life" Jan. 2001)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Kazan Facts


Kazan is the capital and major historic, cultural, and economic center of the autonomous republic of Tatarstan, Russia. It is located on the left bank of the Volga River where the Kazanka River joins it, eighty-five kilometers north of the Kama tributary. In 2002 it had an estimated population of 1,105,300.

The traditional understanding is that the name comes from the Turkic and Volga Tatar word qazan, meaning "kettle." A rival theory has been proposed that it derives from the Chuvash xusan/xosan, meaning "bend" or "hook," referring to the bend of the Volga near which Kazan is located. The Bulgars founded Iski Kazan in the thirteenth century as one of the successors to their state, which had been destroyed by the Mongols. At that time, it was located forty-five kilometers up the Kazanka. Around the year 1400, it was moved to its present location. Ulu Muhammed, who had been ousted from the Qipchaq Khanate in 1437, defeated the last ruler of the principality of Kazan to establish a khanate by 1445. It was an important trading center, with an annual fair being held nearby.

During the first half of the sixteenth century, the khanate of Kazan was involved in a three-cornered struggle with Muscovy and the Crimean khanate for influence in the western steppe area. Ivan IV conquered the city in 1552, ending the Khanate of Kazan. Muscovy then used Kazan as an advanced staging area for further expansion down the Volga. In 1555 the archepiscopal see of Kazan was established.

From the late sixteenth century on, Kazan was the gateway to Siberia, as people and supplies were funneled through the town en route to the east, and furs and minerals were brought west. It was made capital of the Volga region in 1708, and Peter I had the ships for his Persian campaign built there. The Slavonic-Latin Academy, which became the Kazan Theological Academy, was founded in 1723 but abolished after 1917. From 1723 to 1726 the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul was built in Kazan. The first lay provincial secondary school was founded there in 1758.

Kazan was sacked by Emelian Pugachev in 1774, but Catherine II rebuilt the city on a gridiron design and named it a provincial capital in 1781. During the eighteenth century, light industry and food production developed, as well as a theater, which led to a number of similar theaters being founded in the nineteenth century. In 1804 the University of Kazan was founded, which helped to establish the city as an intellectual center. The first provincial newspaper was published there in 1811. Kazan was also considered a major manufacturing center, the products of which included prepared furs, leather manufacture, shoes, and soap. In the 1930s heavy industry developed, such as aircraft production and transportation and agricultural machinery. More recent industries include the production of chemicals, electrical engineering, and precision equipment, as well as oil refining. In 1945 the Kazan branch of the Academy of Sciences was established. Presently, Kazan has a philharmonic society, a museum of Tatar culture, and a theater devoted to the production of Tatar operas and ballets.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Toronto Star April 2007

I was pleased to see that the digitized Super-8 project (of Expo '67) made it to big-time and they titled it: "Expo 67: We were fab"

"On YouTube, search for "Expo 67" and view:
a clip from A Place to Stand, Oscar-winning movie from Ontario pavilion.
Home movies of Expo, like the Fazil Sadri family's whirlwind, seven-minute circuit of the fair."

"The 16 Great Turkish Empires"

1) The "GREAT HUN EMPIRE" - 204 B.C - 216 A.D

Founder - Mete (Bagatir)
Area - At the north, Siberia; south, Tibet - Kashmir; east, Pacific Ocean; west, Caspian Sea; (Total Area - 18,000,000 Km 2)

2) The "WESTERN HUN EMPIRE" - 48 - 216 A.D

Founder - Panu
Area - The area over present Central Asia

3) The "EUROPEAN HUN EMPIRE" - 275 - 454 A.D

Founder - Muncuk, Oktar, Rua & Aybars (brothers)
Area - Southern Russia, Romania, Northern
Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Chekoslovakia, Southern & Central Germany; The area from eastern France to the Ural mountains; from northern Hungary to the Byzantine Empire; (Total Area - 4,000,000 Km 2)

4) The "WHITE HUN EMPIRE" - 420 - 552 A.D

Founder - Aksuvar (Aksungur)
Area - Half of northern India,
Afghanistan, parts of Turkistan (Total Area - 3,500,000 Km 2)

5) The "GOKTURK EMPIRE" - 552 - 743 A.D

Founder - Bumin Khan (Tumen)
Area - The inacessible valleys of the Altay Mountains (Ergenikon) (Total Area - 18,000,000 Km 2)

6) The "AVAR EMPIRE" - 562 - 796 A.D

Founder - Bayar Khan
Area - The area between the Volga, Hungary and Bessarabia

7) The "HAZAR EMPIRE" - 602 - 1016 A.D

Founder - There are no historical data as to the original founder, however, its greatest ruler was Hakan Yusuf.
Area - The Hazars who are believed to be an offshoot of the Gokturks migrated to the West and formed a state stretching from the Caucasian Mntns to the Danube and to the middle of and Southern Russia.

8) The "UYGUR EMPIRE" - 740 - 1335 A.D

Founder - Kutlug Bilgekul Khan
Area - Central Asia and Northern Mongolia.

9) The "KARAHAN" - 932 - 1212 A.D

Founder - Saltuk Bugra Han
Area - All the Trans-Oxus area including the area between the Issyk and Balkash Lakes

10) The "GAZNELI EMPIRE" - 962 - 1183 A.D

Founder - Alptekin
Area - The area from the Trans-Oxus to the Ganges River, and from the shores of the Caspian to the steppes of the Pamir. (Total Area - 4,700,000 Km 2)

11) The "SELCUK EMPIRE" - 1040 - 1157 A.D

Founder - Seljuk
Area - At the East, Balkash and Issyk Lakes and the Tarim Derya; At the West, Aegean and the Mediterranean shores; At the North, Aral Lake, Caspian Sea, Caucasian and the Black Sea; At the South, the area including Arabia and the sea Omman. (Total Area - 10,000,000 Km 2)

12) The "HARZEMSHAH" - 1077 - 1231 A.D

Founder - Kudrettin Mehmet (Harzemshah)
Area - Persia, Southern Caucasia, Dagistan, Afghanistan and most of Central Asia. (Total Area - 5,000,000 Km 2)

13) The "GOLDEN HORDE" - 1224 - 1502 A.D

Founder - Batur Han
Area - Eastern Europe, the Western Ural Area, the Crimea and the area to the north of the Volga.

14) The "EMPIRE OF TIMUR KHAN" - 1369 - 1501 A.D

Founder - Timur Gurgani
Area - At the West, Balkans; At the North, Volga shores; At the South, Indian Ocean; At the East, Central Asia;

15) The "EMPIRE OF BABUR" - 1526 - 1858 A.D

Founder - Babur Shah
Area - Afghanistan and India (Total Area - 2,700,000 Km 2)

16) The "OTTOMAN EMPIRE" - 1299 - 1922 A.D

Founder - Osman Bey
Area - Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Anatolia, Caucasia, the Crimea, Bessarabia, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Hungary, the Sudan,.....and, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea were for a time - Turkish Lakes. (Total Area - 20,000,000 Km 2)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Japan's Global Claim to Asia and the World of Islam

Tatars, Turks, Muslims, Japan, China, Russia, and some answers to questions of the Tatar - Far-East experience.


Tatarça-Rusça on-line süzlek

This dictionary is titled "Tatar-Russian" but there is also data in English, Finnish and Turkish too.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kyrm: Paradise Lost

"Little known to the western world, the Crimean Tatars flourished on the Crimean Peninsula for hundreds of years. These people, descendants of ancient central asian dynasties, were systematically wiped out due to famine and deportation. In 1944, the Crimean Tatars were subjected to mass deportation and annihilation by Stalin who claimed they were conspiring with German occupational forces. Nearly 250,000 Crimean Tatars were place on traincars that led nowhere -- most of them perished or were killed during the boundless trainride. Today the diaspora is spread around the globe but the Crimean Tatars numbers have dwindled to under 25,000. This short-doc was made by Cihan Kaan for his film school thesis and is a compilation of public domain footage and interviews. There is much more to be done with a documentary on this subject so the point of putting online is twofold; one to disseminate information for the Crimean Tatar people's plight and two to inspire or create another in depth documentary. As this was made some time ago, much of the recent occurances in the Ukraine have affected the political situation with the Crimean Tatar people, none of which is explained or documented yet"

Seyle serenne - Alina Safina

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tatars on Horseback

The Most Tatar Non Tatar

We've been through this before, and we know that he is half-Swiss and half Mongolian, but if Torrance High School gets a Tartar for a Mascot, then we're calling this dude a Tartar as well.

The Torrance Tartars

Torrance is in Southern California and home to the "Torrance Tartars", the High School mascot for Torrance High School. My High School mascot was the "Don". Everyone asked at first, "What's a Don?"

In this sense, I would assume that Tartar = Mongol

Timour The Tartar

This is the costume design folio for a British play titled, "Timour The Tartar"

Saturday, August 8, 2009 Tatar Translation

Paste the text in cyrillic-Tatar in the main windowPress ABC button just beneath the main windowIf there's no misspelling - you'll be notified by the new windowIf there is at least one mistake - you will see the same text with the highlighted in red misspelled word
We were recently informed of this online Tatar translation page. It's in Beta at the moment, and we haven't played around with it much.

Siberian Tatars

At the present time there are thought to be over 500,000 Tatars in Siberia. Of these only about 200,000 are Siberian Tatars, that is, those whose ancestors were living in western Siberia before the appearance of Russian immigrants at the end of the sixteenth century. (At the end of the seventeenth century there were 16,500 of them; at the end of the eighteenth, 28,500; and at the end of the nineteenth, 47,000.) The remaining Tatars of Siberia are more recent immigrants, plus their descendants from the Volga and Ural regions (Kazan Tatars, Mishers, Kryashen Tatars, and other groups of European Tatars). In the twentieth century, some of these have also begun to be labeled "Sibtatars."
The aboriginal Siberian Tatars consist of three large ethnic groups, each of which has further subdivisions. The Tomsk Tatars are composed of the Kalmaks, the Chats, and the Eushta. They live along the Tomi and Ob rivers in the Tomsk District, and, in part, in the Kemerovsk and Novosibirsk districts. Among the Barabinsk Tatars, scholars have recently distinguished the following subgroups: the Barabo-Turashi, the Terenino-Choi, and the Liubei-Tunusy. They are settled in the Barabinsk steppe and the Novosibirsk region. The most numerous group, the Tobolo-Irtysh, consists of the Tars, Kurdak-Sargatsk, Tobolsk, Tiumen, and Iaskolbin Tatars. They live in the basins of the Irtysh and Tobol rivers in the Omsk and Tyumensk districts of Russia.
Among the Siberian Tatars there were yet other tugums (genealogical groups), including Kuyan (Rabbit), Torna (Crane), Pulmukh (Dull-witted), Chungur and Shagir (personal names), Sart, Kurchak, and Nugai. For the Siberian Tatars over 250 ethnonyms have been used, including clan, tribal, and tugum designations.
Soviet scholars concur on the multiethnic composition of all groups of Siberian Tatars. In the most general sense the ethnogenesis of the Siberian Tatars was through the mixture of Ugric, Samoyed, Turk, and, to a lesser degree, Iranian and Mongolian tribes and peoples. The Ugric group (ancestors of the Hungarians, Mansi, and Khanty) and the Turkic-speaking Kipchaks were central to the formation of the Barabansk and Tobolo-Irtysh Tatars, as the Samoyeds (ancestors of the Nentsy and the Selkups) and the Kipchaks were to the coalescence of the Tomsk Tatars. The penetration of Turkic-speaking peoples into the territory of the western Siberian plain from the Altai and Sayan has been fixed as occurring between the fifth and seventh centuries; the increase in the influx of Turkic groups from Central Asia and Kazakhstan is thought to have occurred from the eleventh to the twelfth centuries.
Thus, by the fourteenth century the basic ethnic constituents of the Siberian Tatars were already in place. Another stratum of the Siberian Tatars were the Siberian Bukharians, composed of Uzbeks, Tajiks, and, to a lesser extent, of Kazakhs, Turkmens, and others who migrated from Central Asia to western Siberia from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries.
In the second half of the nineteenth century and the first third of the twentieth, Tatars from the Volga and west of the Urals—basically Kazan Tatars and Mishars—settled in communities of Siberian Tatars.
Linguistic Affiliation. The language of the Siberian Tatars is part of the Northwest Kipchak Group of the Turkic Branch of the Altaic Language Family. It is distinct from the language of the Volga Tatars and consists of three dialects: Baraban, Tobol-Irtysh, and Tomsk. Within the Tobol-Irtysh dialect scholars have distinguished the Zabolotny, Tobol, Tiumen, Tar, and Tevriz forms of speech, and within the Tomsk dialect, the Kalmak and Chat-Eushtin forms of speech.

Did you catch the word - Barbarian?
I don't have a source for this.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bir Sevgi Istiyorum

This is from Zuhre Ebe's notebook as well. It's personal, but most of what she put to paper was from the heart. Lyrics to a Turkish song.


This is from Ebe's notebook. (Zuhre Kugush)

Koshlarga - Tukay

Shemsiye Apa reading at "Tukay Kon" in the Burlingame Women's Club.
The Tatar Community of Burlingame would rent this building for larger events as the Bina could not accommodate all the attendees. This picture looks to be from the 1970's.

Tukay Kon display at the Bina

another Tukay Kon from the early 1980's.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Turkic Bolgars

Coins of Turkic Bolgars IX-Xth with Turkic script on it.

Idil Bulgar Mosque and the Russian Church

Some Notes about Volga Bolgars:
Since the middle of the VIIIth century the Turkic-speaking Bolgar tribes penetrated into the Middle Volga region. The most well-known among them are the Barandgars, the Bolgars, the Bersula, the Suvar and others, who came from the regions of the north-western pre-Caucasus as a result of the Arabian-Khazar wars of the 732-735.

Nearer to the Xth century came the second wave of the Bolgar migration to the Middle Volga and the Kama region from the southern steppes. At the same time constant immigration of the Ural-Kama and South Ural population, including the Ugrian (Madjar) tribes, was taking place.

In VIIIth - Xth centuries the basis of the culture of the new people - the Volga Bulgarians - is being laid as a result of the interaction of the Turkic-speaking Bolgar tribes and the Finno-Ugrian population. In the Xth century the early-feudal state of the Volga Bulgaria has been formed in the Middle Volga region. During the period of its formation Bulgaria was in the state of vassalage with the Khazar khanate and occupied a small territory in the region of Kama and Volga confluence. It was as early as that time that several towns - tribal centres - existed. They are Suvar, Bolgar on Volga, Bolgar-Bilyar, Oshel', etc.

One of the main supports of the state was the Moslem religion, officially accepted by the Bulgars in the beginning of the Xth century. The flourish of the Volga Bulgaria corresponds to the XIth - beginning of the XIII century. The basic territory of the state significantly grew.

The archaeologists nowadays recognise more than 1500 Bulgarian sites of the pre-Mongolian time on the territory of Bulgaria. The foundation of economy of the Volga Bulgaria was the highly developed plough agriculture and animal husbandry. Crafts were of great significance - metallurgy, blacksmith's, jewellery, building, pottery-making, glass-making, bone-cutting, tannery, weaver's crafts and others. The third important component of the Bulgarian economy was trade.

The flourish of the Bulgarian trade was much due to the location of the state on the most important intercontinental trade route - the Volga-Baltic route as well as to the high level of the craft and farming development.

In 1223-1240 Bulgaria recklessly resisted to the Mongol hordes which strove to conquer the state. The unequal struggle resulted in the conquest of Bulgaria, the havoc of its economy and culture, the destruction of the cities. The devastated Volga Bulgaria was included into the Golden Horde.

In the Museum funds the culture of the pre-Mongolian Bulgaria is represented by numerous materials. The basic collections are АКУ-2, АКУ-85, АКУ-87, АКУ-94 - "Bolgar, Bilyar and other sites" - the united collection, the basis of which is constituted by the materials of the Society for Archaeology, History and Ethnography of the Emperor's Kazan University; АКУ-278, АКУ-279 - the sites of the Low Kama region (excavations and explorings by E.A.Begovatov, K.A.Rudenko in 1991-1997); АКУ-262, АКУ-285 - "The Bilyar site of ancient city, the inner town, the potter's workshop, the alchemist's workshop" - research by S.I.Valiulina.

"The Bolgars originally moved to the Middle Volga region in the second half of the 8th century. They arrived here from the Lower Don and the northwestern Caucasus, where in their early history they also had links with the Huns. One branch of the Bulgars moved westward from the Caucasus to the Danube, where they formed the ruling elite of the first Bulgarian state founded in 681."

"-The Turkic Bulgars who did not move into the Danube valley, who held to the wild eastern steppes, eventually were pushed by Khazar expansion northward up the Volga valley in the lands around the city Kazan where they formed a significant Islamic or Muslim Bolgar khanate."
Here's another blurb:
The Bulgar kingdom

In 921, the Bulgar king, Almas, received an embassy sent by Caliph al-Muqtadir and converted to Islam on May 12, 922. His example was followed rapidly by the ruling elite of the kingdom. At the end of the tenth century, most of the Bulgars were already Muslim, and there were mosques and schools in virtually every village. For three hundred years, the Middle Volga area remained a Muslim island—the northernmost vanguard of the dār al-Islām—completely surrounded by Christian or animist neighbors. Its ties with the faraway Muslim world were maintained through the Volga trade route.

In spite of, or perhaps because of, their isolation, the Bulgars were zealous Muslims from the beginning. They played a role in the conversion of some nomadic Turkic tribes, the Pechenegs and Cumans, to Islam. They also nursed hopes of spreading Islam to the Russians, who were at that time still animists. In 986 a Bulgar embassy was sent to Kiev with the aim of converting the grand prince, Vladimir. The Russian Primary Chronicle recounts that some time later, Vladimir, in search of a suitable religion, also received representatives of Western and Eastern Christianity and of Judaism and heard each speak in turn of the merits and tenets of his faith.

Little more is known about the cultural history of the Bulgar kingdom prior to the thirteenth century. One may assume that Islam remained the religion of the Turkic city-dwellers, the feudal elite, and the merchant class, while the rural population, of whom the majority was ethnically Finnic, remained animist.
Here's from another unknown source

A ruined town of Russia, in the government of Kazan, 4 M. from the left bank of the Volga (known to the Tatars as Etil, Jill or Atel; to the Finnish tribes as Rau, and to the ancients as Rha and Oarus)
at 550 N. lat . It is generally considered to have been the capital of the Bulgarians when they were established in that part of Europe (5th to 15th century) . Ruins of the old walls and towers still survive, as well as numerous kurgans or burial-mounds, with inscriptions, some in Arabic (1222-1341), others in Armenian (years 557, 984 and 986), and yet others in Turkic. Upon being opened these tombs were found to contain weapons, implements, utensils, and silver and copper coins, bearing inscriptions,in ordinary Arabic, others in Kufic These and other antiquities collected here are preserved in museums at Kazan, Moscow and St Petersburg . The ruins, which were practically discovered in the reign of Peter the Great, were visited and described by Pallas, Humboldt and others . The city of Bolgary, Bolgari was destroyed by the Mongols in 1238, and again by Tamerlane early in the following century, after which it served as the capital of the Khansof the Golden Horde of Mongols, and finally, in the second half of the 15th century it became a part of the principality of Kazan, and so eventually of Russia
The Arab geographer Ibn Haukal states that in his time, near the end of the 10th century, it was a place of 10,000 inhabitants .

Tatar Boots 1582

"a pair of Tartar boots dated to 1582, pictured below, which currently reside in the Livrustkammaren museum in Stockhold, Sweeden. This lovely pair of boots is embroidered all over (yes, embroidered, not painted), and has a 4 layer stacked heel,... The picture comes from June Swann's "History of Footwear in Norway, Sweden and Finland. Prehistory to 1950," ... Originally, this boot is thought to have been a present from the Khan of the Crimean Tartars during his visit to the Stockholm at the end of the century..."

Northumbrian Tartar Tune

This is a delightful tune, "Timothy The Tartar". It has nothing to do with Kazan Volga Tatars and is from Northumbria, Britain.

Tatar Warrior Sculpture

Tartar Warrior Checking His Horse (ca. 1830)
Antione-Louis Barye

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


This helmet image is from the cover of an old issue of Kazan Utlary Magazine. from 1990.

Allarin Alga Manam


Татар халык җыры

Китəм, дисең, китəм, дисең,
Китəм, дисəң, кайларга?
Нилəргə сабыр итмисең
Тагын бер-ике айларга?

К у ш ы м т а:

Ал чия төплəрендə,
Гөл чия төплəрендə.
Сулар сибеп үстерəлəр
Тəрəзə төплəрендə.

Алларын алга манам,
Гөллəрен гөлгə манам.
Иркəм китə еракларга —
Сөю утында янам.

Дулкынланып сулар керə
Пароход идəненə.
Ышанмагыз егетлəрнең
Яратам дигəненə.

Китəм, дидең, читкə киттең,
Чит иде телəклəрең.
Инде хəзер чит җирлəрдə
Өзелер үзəклəрең.

К у ш ы м т а .

Стенада сəгать йөри,
Саный минут исəбен.
Кай җирлəрдə йөри икəн
Минем алма кисəгем?!

К у ш ы м т а .

Golnaz Siraeva - "Kaitabyz da kitabez shul ..."

Golnaz Siraeva - "Kaitabyz da kitabez shuz

Esra sent us this link.
Rahmet Esra.

song is very nice says:

We go to visit mama,
we live really far.
We leave and come.
We come and leave.
Please try to understand us.
Even if we hurt you, mama,
please don't be hurt too much.
We even didn't have enough talking, time passed by so fast.
We have just arrived and
we have to leave already.
Again, at this our departure you are crying.
We wouldn't leave you at all, mama.
So what can we do?

Ber Almanı Bişkä Büläyik

Eh, Zilem, Zilale

Monli Garmun

Sandugacim - Bilbilim