Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 133

As announced on November 12, nine deputies of the "Kurultai" Tatar faction in the Crimean parliament have ended a ten-day hunger strike for medical reasons. The protesters helped win a significant concession when a delegation of Crimea’s parliament agreed in principle with their counterparts in Kiev to change Crimea’s constitution, to give the Tatar language official status (equal to Russian and Ukrainian.) (17) Earlier, the Russian-dominated Crimean legislature agreed to the Tatars’ demand for a fixed proportion of seats in the 98-member body. However Kurultai faction chairman Lenur Arifov expressed to Ukrainian media his doubts about the significance of that concession because it did not guarantee Crimean Tatar representation where it counts in executive bodies of state power. (18) Some 200,000 Crimean Tatars live in their ancestral homeland, but resettlement from their former places of deportation in Central Asia has been painstakingly slow and complicated. So-called tent cities have been a common site since the Tatars began returning to Crimea in the Gorbachev era. Gang violence lately has added to their woes. Four Crimean Tatars were killed this summer in one such episode and more acts appear to be on the horizon. (19)

Doubts Plague Success of By-Elections.