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Tatar minority to vote for autonomy in Crimea

Published on Mar 29, 2014 7:35 PM
 
Muslim Tatars attend the Crimean Tatar Qurultai, or congress, in Bakhchisaray, on March 29, 2014. Crimea's Tatars will on Saturday hold a vote on whether to push for self-rule in their historic homeland following its annexation by Russia. -- PHOTO: AFP

BAKHCHYSARAY (AFP) - Crimea's Tatars will on Saturday hold a vote on whether to push for self-rule in their historic homeland following its annexation by Russia.

Ethnic Tatars from all over Crimea convened in the town of Bakhchisaray for an emergency Qurultai, or congress, to decide on the fate of the Muslim community of about 300,000 people on the Black Sea peninsula.

"There comes a moment in the life of every people when a choice must be made that will determine its future," said Tatar leader Refat Chubarov.

He urged the audience packed into a community centre to vote for a draft resolution calling for the "launch of political and legal procedures (for the) national and territorial autonomy of the Crimean Tatar people on their historical territory, Crimea."

 
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