Lithuanian Tatars discussed the proposa made by prime minister to build a community building on the site of a cemetery
November 08, 2018
The Tatars of Lithuania, who met for the first time at the congress on Saturday, were presented by the proposal of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernialis to build a building for the Tatar community on the site of the former Tatar cemetery in Vilnius.
On the street. Goshtauto at the Lithuanian capital, on the site of a former and destroyed in 1968 mosque, for several decades there are buildings of several institutes of Vilnius University. According to the chairman of the Union of Communities of Tatars of Lithuania, Adas Jakubauskas, Prime Minister S. Skvernialis had previously stated that a building intended for the Tatar community may appear in this place in the future.
“When we met with S. Skvernyalis, it was stated that a pre-project plan is being prepared to put this place in order, and the government would like to demolish these buildings and build something new,” A. Yakubauskas said at the congress.
“The Tatars need to build a separate structure, we have a unique opportunity to sign a specific contract with the government, if we need, for example, a culture center in Vilnius, it will probably be a unique opportunity for future generations,” he added.
Some delegates of the congress argued that perhaps this building should be used to equip the museum, the center of culture, others suggested to restore the mosque that was in that place.
About 3 thousand Tatars now live in Lithuania. The most numerous communities live in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevėžys, as well as in Vilnius, Alytus, Trakai and Varena districts. More than half of them are Sunni Muslims.
The first Tatars appeared in Lithuania as allies of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas in the battles against the Crusaders in 1319. The second wave of Tatars, the descendants of which the Lithuanian Tatars consider themselves, arrived from the Golden Horde in 1396-1397 – then in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania there were 40 thousand Tatar soldiers who were settled in Lida Castle, on the territory of present-day Belarus. XVI – XVII centuries, the Tatars in Lithuania mainly arrived from the Crimean Khanate.
Last year, the Tatar community celebrated the 620th anniversary of their stay in Lithuania.