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Mustafa Abduldzhemil Jemilev (Crimean Tatar: Mustafa Abdülcemil Cemilev, [mustɑˈfɑ ɑbdyld͡ʒɛˈmil d͡ʒɛˈmilɪf], Russian: Мустафа́ Абдулджеми́ль Джеми́лев, Ukrainian: Мустафа́ Абдульджемі́ль Джемі́лєв, also known widely with his adopted descriptive surname Qırımoğlu, Crimean Tatar Cyrillic: Къырымогълу, [qərəmɔɣˈlu], Russian: Кырымоглу́, Ukrainian: Киримоглу́, born 13 November 1943, Mizhrichia, Crimea), 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][4]

Mustafa Jemilev
Mustafa Abdülcemil Kırımoğlu.jpg
Chairman of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
In office
Preceded byPost established
Succeeded byRefat Cubarov
Personal details
Mustafa Abdülcemil

(1943-11-13) 13 November 1943 (age 75)
Ay-Serez, Reichskommissariat Ukraine
NationalityCrimean Tatar
Political partyRukh
Other political
Our Ukraine
AwardsOrder of Prince Yaroslav the Wise
Order of the Republic
Order for Merits to Lithuania


Life in the Soviet UnionEdit

Dzhemilev was born on 13 November 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.[5] He grew up in exile, in the Uzbek SSR.

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 and lived under surveillance.[6] 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.

He was expelled in the second year from the Tashkent engineers of irrigation and reclamation of agriculture "for unworthy behavior", namely the writing of historical work on the history of Turkic culture in the Crimea before the elimination of the Crimean Khanate from "nationalist" positions.[7]

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.

Ukrainian politicsEdit

During the 1998 Ukrainian parliamentary election he was elected into the Ukrainian parliament on the Rukh list;[8] in 2002,[9] 2006[10] and 2007[10] he was re-elected as a member of Our Ukraine.[10]

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]

In early November 2011, Dzhemilev announced his retirement from politics.[11] But during the 2012 parliamentary elections he joined the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" election list and was re-elected to parliament.[12][13]

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.[14][15]

In the July 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election Dzhemilev is placed sixth on the party list of European Solidarity.[16]

Crimean crisisEdit

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.[17]

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.[18] A spokesman for the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) said the agency did not have any information on the travel ban. On 3 May, Dzhemilev 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.[19]

Russian authorities then issued an arrest warrant for Dzhemilev and placed him on the federal wanted list, allegedly for trying to illegally cross the border when he attempted to return to Crimea.[20]


Dzhemilev has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize several times, by various NGOs and persons.[21][22][23]

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.

On 14 April 2014, Dzhemilev was awarded the Order of the Republic by Turkish President Abdullah Gül.[24]

It was announced on 7 May 2014 that Dzhemilev would be the first recipient of the Solidarity Prize, which he was awarded on 3 June 2014 by the Republic of Poland.[25]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Police opens case against criminal organization in Crimea, Kyiv Post (25 November 2009)
  2. ^ "BBC News – Regions and territories: Crimea". Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  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.
  4. ^ Zayets, Sergiy; Matviichuk, Oleksandra; Pechonchyk, Tetyana; Svyrydova, Dariya; Skrypnyk, Olga (2015). The fear peninsula: chronicle of occupation and violation of human rights in Crimea. Crimea is Ukraine. p. 75.
  5. ^ International Committee for Crimea – Surgun: Deportation of Crimean Tatars (18 May 1944)
  6. ^ Crimean Prosecutor Threatens Tatar Council With Crackdown by Philip Shishkin, Wall Street Journal (5 May 2014)
  7. ^ Джемилев Мустафа
  8. ^ 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
  9. ^ Explaining the Low Intensity of Ethnopolitical Conflict in Ukraine by Susan Stewart, Lit Verlag, 2005, ISBN 978-3-8258-8331-7, page 194
  10. ^ a b c Dual p, Kyiv Post (9 July 2009)
  11. ^ (in Russian) Лидер крымских татар объявил об уходе из политики, Lenta.Ru (8 November 2011)
  12. ^ Mustafa Dzhemiliov is number 12 on the list of the United Opposition “Fatherland”, Den (2 August 2012)
  13. ^ Party of Regions gets 185 seats in Ukrainian parliament, Batkivschyna 101 – CEC, Interfax-Ukraine (12 November 2012)
  14. ^ 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)
  15. ^ Petro Poroshenko Bloc: Facts and Details, Sputnik News (25 October 2014)
  16. ^
  17. ^ Davutoğlu: Referandumun sonuçları kabul edilemez, Hürriyet (17 March 2014)
  18. ^ "Crimean authorities move against Tatars and their leader". Euronews. 22 April 2014.
  19. ^ "Russia denies travel ban on Crimean Tatar ex-leader". RT International. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  20. ^ Гальперович, Данила (27 January 2016). Мустафа Джемилев: арестовав меня заочно, Россия хочет не пустить меня домой [Mustafa Dzhemilev: by arresting me in absentia, Russia wants not to let me go home] (in Russian). Voice of America.
  21. ^ "Mustafa Dzhemilev nominated for Nobel Peace Prize". KyivPost. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Tatarstan NGOs Propose Crimean Tatar Leader For Nobel Peace Prize". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  23. ^ "Mustafa Dzhemilev for Nobel Peace Prize – Le Jeune Turc – My Telegraph". Le Jeune Turc – My Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  24. ^ "Cumhurbaşkanı Gül'den, Kırım Tatarları Lideri Kırımoğlu'na Cumhuriyet Nişanı (Turkish)". Presidency of Republic of Turkey. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  25. ^ "Mustafa Dżemilew pierwszym laureatem Nagrody Solidarności" (in Polish). Polish MFA. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.


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


Further readingEdit

External linksEdit