Dear guests! I cordially welcome you in the Republic of Tatarstan!
We once again have gathered together in our capital – Kazan. For the Tatars living in different parts of the world, in regions of Russia and in Tatarstan, present day is especially important. Each convention of the Congress is a long-awaited historical event. The present Sixth Congress is held in the year of the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Congress of Tatars. During this time the Congress has confirmed its ability to work and has established itself as an organization that is able to deal with preservation of language, culture and traditions of the Tatar people. In addition, it has become an important factor in rallying the nation. The Congress brought together all the people, sincerely striving for the nation and its future (among them: Hindus Tagirov, Vasil Gaifullin Marcel Taishi, Ilgiz Khayrullin, Mirfatyh Zakiev, Rosa Tufitullova, Rifat Tabi, Aynur Nizametdinov, Rimzil Valiev, Masgut Garatuev, Azat Kurchakov, Ravil Yagudin, Gabdelbar Faizrakhmanov, Rashit Yagfarov, Alfinur Gafurova and many others). For a quarter of a century with the support of the republic, Congress has implemented many successful projects. Annually, all-Russia gathering of entrepreneurs of Tatar villages, the World Forum of Tatar women’s forum “Business partners of Tatarstan”, Tatar-Russian Congress of local lore are held.
In addition, the forums of Tatar scientists and educators are widely known; Festivals “Idel Yoldyzlari”, “Ural sandugachy” (Yekaterinburg), “Duslyk zhyry” (Republic of Bashkortostan), “Tan Yoldyzy” (Tyumen), “Kozge Irtysh monnary”; International festival of historical and cultural heritage of Siberian Tatars “Isker Djien” (Tobolsk), international competition “Tatar kyzi”, All-Russia competition of journalists and mass media “Tatar spirit and pen”. Since 2014, the Internet studio “Donya” of the World Congress of Tatars has been working. We can not fail to mention the programs “Tatarlar”, “Halkim Min”, the monthly newspaper “Halkim Minem”. Interesting initiatives of our foreign and regional organizations should be marked. The Congress of the Tatars of Kazakhstan, the Tatar Public Cultural and Educational Center of Tashkent, the Tugan tel Association of the Peoples of Kyrgyzstan, the Tatar public associations of Turkey, Finland, Canada, Australia and China are doing a great job.
The activities of regional organizations of Ulyanovsk, Chelyabinsk, Orenburg, Astrakhan, Kurgan regions, the Chuvash Republic, Novosibirsk, Saratov and Samara regions and the Republic of Bashkortostan deserve praising. Particular emphasis is placed on working with young people. The World Forum of Tatar Youth is gaining strength. This direction should be further developed. It is important to use the possibilities of new forms of interaction, in the first place, information and communication technologies. Tatar social networks are expanding. For example, the social network in Instagram includes more than 130 thousand users, and VKontakte – more than 430 thousand. Much is being done to popularize our national Sabantui holiday. A good tradition has become holding of the European, Federal and All-Russian rural Sabantui. Recently, the holiday was held in Astrakhan and the Penza region. This year, Sabantuy took place in 59 regions of Russia and 32 foreign countries. The holiday is a notable event that connects compatriots with their historical homeland.
This is the result of the great organizational work of the congress, the authorities of the republic, the regions of Russia and foreign countries, and, of course, a large number of our activists. Sabantuy introduces compatriots and residents of foreign countries with the culture and traditions of the Tatars, raises the status of our people. The holiday became a popular cultural property. It would be advisable to raise the issue of including Sabantuy in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. I believe you will support this initiative. We annually hold the Forum of Tatar religious figures “Religion and national identity”. Islam for the Tatars has always been an integral part of being. This forum counteracts the threats of modernity, is a platform for discussing topical issues and making concerted decisions. One of the most important tasks of this direction is the construction and organization of the work of the Bulgarian Islamic Academy. The Academy will rely on the traditional spiritual values of our ancestors. The institution should become a center of spiritual enlightenment, study in which will correspond to the international level. The main achievement of the Congress is people. I express my gratitude to all my compatriots. You are the future of our people, people who are heartbroken for the preservation and development of language, rich culture and traditions. Separately, I want to note the great work of the leaders of the congress – Indus Rizakovich Tagirov and Rinat Zinurovich Zakirov. In addition, Taufik Karimov in Kazakhstan, Rishat Nabiullin in Uzbekistan, Rustam Sadri in Australia, Bari Dianov and Venera Vagizova in Germany, Tursuntai Galeev and Abdulla Abbas in China, Gulsina Ulmaskulova in Kyrgyzstan, Tairas Kuznetsovas in Lithuania, Atik Ali in Finland and many other people.
In regions of the country Anver Almaev (Astrakhan), Tamir Alimbaev (Omsk), Vagiz Fayzullin (Krasnoyarsk), Amir Gareev (Novosibirsk), Farid Gibatdinov (Chuvashia), Nurullah Sattorov (Tyumen), Elena Kolesnikova (Chelyabinsk), Ramis Safin ( Ulyanovsk), Bakir Akzegitov (Penza), Kamil Ablyazov (Saratov), Lyutsiya Vafina (Bashkortostan), Marat Yunusov (Kurgan) and many others are actively working. The Congress successfully is operating with federal national-cultural autonomy of Tatars, which for a long time has been led by Ildar Irekovich Gilmutdinov (head of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Nationalities). The republic’s activities to support Tatars living outside Tatarstan are enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic (Article 14). Wherever the Tatars lived, they consider Tatarstan their historical homeland. For this reason, an important task for us is preservation and development of language, culture and traditions. We pay special attention to work with the regions and countries where there are Tatars aim to support projects of the World Congress of Tatars. Support is also provided by the ministries of culture, education and science. Seven volumes of “History of Tatars” has been released, the newspaper is published “Bez berge”, TV channel “TNV-Planet” is working, children’s channel is in progress. Changes touched the Tatar edition of the agency “Tatar-inform”. In the domain .tatar earned the Tatar site. In the Tatar language, the Internet portal “Center for Tatar Literature” began its work. Today, there are more than 1,100 books. Support for the Tatar language, culture and traditions is promoted by agreements and protocols at the governmental level. Today, Tatarstan has 26 intergovernmental agreements with foreign countries and 74 – with Russian regions. Within their framework, including, support of compatriots is carried out. The programs of visits of the republic’s leadership to the regions of Russia and foreign countries always include meetings with the Tatar community. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov highly assessed this work.
In turn, it is necessary to express gratitude to the ministry for constant support. Tatars are vitally interested in a strong Russia, which guarantees the successful development of national languages, cultures and traditions of peoples throughout the country.
A reliable guarantor in these matters is our national leader – President Vladimir Putin. His position is consistent and aimed at supporting the ethno-cultural development of peoples, preserving peace and harmony. Today’s greeting by e head of state to the congress is a vivid confirmation of this. The result of active work of the republic and general public was the recognition of Tatarstan in the international arena. In Kazan there are the largest all-Russian and international forums and competitions. The Republic is an investment-attractive region, develops partner relations with 145 countries, traditionally it is one of the leading regions of Russia in terms of key macroeconomic indicators. The recognition of Tatarstan was facilitated by the successful implementation of such large-scale projects as the 1000th anniversary of Kazan, the World Summer Universiade, the World Cup in Water Sports, the Confederations Cup. In 2018, the capital of the republic will take the games of the group tournament of the World Cup. In 2019, we will host the World Championship in working professions of WorldSkills, and in 2022 – the World Swimming Championships.
Great attention is paid to preserving the historical and cultural heritage in Tatarstan. Currently, 3 out of 29 Russian UNESCO facilities are located on the territory of our republic. This is the historical and architectural complex of the Kazan Kremlin, the Bulgarian historical and archaeological complex, the Assumption Cathedral and the monastery of the island-grad Sviyazhsk. The successful development of the republic, the restoration of unique historical monuments enhance the tourist attraction. Tatarstan is one of the leaders among the regions of the Russian Federation in the sphere of tourism. The volume of tourist flow to the republic in the last year amounted to about 3 million people. The instability of today’s world, many negative processes affect the ethno-cultural development of peoples. It is extremely important to confront these challenges, to support the best initiatives and projects that contribute to the preservation and development of the language, culture, traditions of the Tatar people. Unfortunately, there is not always an understanding of the importance of this work on the part of state and municipal authorities. We count on both more active and constructive work of the public organizations themselves, and on the support of the federal center.
It would be correct for these topical issues to be reflected in the new law on state national policy in the Russian Federation, which is currently being worked on. In modern conditions, preserving the native language is a very difficult task. I believe that ignorance of the language for various reasons should not be an obstacle to feeling us a united nation. Tatars are united by a strong people’s spirit, commitment to the values of national culture, unique traditions. I am sure that the desire for cultural development and our national spirit will contribute, among other things, to the study of language. An important role here is given to the resources “Ana tel” and “Tatar il.” Today the Tatar world is rich in names that have become widely known in the world and in Russia. We are united by the fact that we are Tatars. You are all familiar with Nadir Davlet from Turkey, Okan Dacher from Finland, Raisa Hanim Atambaeva from Kyrgyzstan, Idel and Yulai Shamiloglu from the USA, Sofya Gubaidullina and Rashid Syunyaev from Germany and many others. We are proud of such famous Tatars of Russia as Roald and Renad Sagdeev, Mahmut Akhmetovich Gareev, Albina Shagimuratova, Robert Nigmatullin, Renat and Rasim Akchurins, Shamil Tarpischev, Aida Garifullina. Deep traces in the history left Gayaz Iskhaki, Sadri Maksudi, Mirzait Sultangaliev, Khusain Yamashev, a whole galaxy of cultural and art figures, our scientists are well known in the world.
Dear participants of the congress! It is extremely important that the forms of work of the congress meet the existing challenges, take into account the diverse experience of all organizations that are members of the congress. Appreciating the role of the executive committee, more attention should be paid to the formation of a broad representative body that would include the most prominent and authoritative figures of the Tatar organizations. Changes in the Charter of the organization are necessary. It seems expedient to create a National Council of the CGT, elected by the congress. It would be correct to be headed by a respected leader with broad powers. In addition, taking into account the wide geography of organizations, it is necessary to ensure the possibility of more meaningful participation of representatives from regions of Russia and abroad in making managerial decisions. At the same time, the Executive Committee would represent a management apparatus, whose leader would retain the status of deputy chairman of Milli Shura.
Dear friends! The program of the plenary session is very rich. Today, many topical issues related to the development of the nation will be raised. I am sure that there will be interesting and constructive approaches to their solution. In addition, you can get acquainted with the innovative potential of the republic, individual municipal areas, our achievements and the life of the Tatarstanians. I am confident that the meetings will be productive. I note that the State Council and the leadership of the republic realize the importance of Tatarstan for the Tatar world. We should try to ensure that our joint activities are effective. The preservation of the unity of the nation and the future of the people depends only on us. I am sure that if we think and work in one direction, we will be able to solve any problem and achieve the highest goals. I wish all of us a successful work.
Thank you for your attention! ” Rustam Minnikhanov read out his speech.