Crimea, the Lost Land of Islam

Moslimdaily – In the past, Crimea was one of the Ottoman Turks, precisely in the north. Islam entered Crimea in the first half of the 10th century AD.

Most of the population at that time was of Turkish descent which was then more famous with the Tatars. The name Crimea itself comes from the Tatar language Al-Qirm which means ‘fortress’.

Today, the so-called Krimea region includes the Crimean Peninsula, plus a number of Russian territories surrounding the Sea of Azoz, and some areas to the north of the peninsula that now includes Ukrainian territory.

The Krimean Peninsula is a large landmass located at the eastern tip of Europe and consists of Ukraine and Russia. Crimea is located in the easternmost region. Bordering on the south with the Black Sea forms the southern tip of the peninsula, connecting it with the rest of Europe.

The peninsula has an area of 27,000 km² and has a population of 2.4 million (as of 2007).

The name “Crimea” is derived (via Italian) from the Crimean Tatar name for the city of Qırım (present-day Stary Krym) which serves as the capital of the Crimean province’s Golden Horde.

The capital’s name was extended throughout the peninsula at some point during Ottoman rule. [

‘Crimea’ The Lost Land of Islam

Crimea holds a history surrounding the glory of past Islamic civilizations. But over time, the once shining Islamic state slowly dimmed along with the weakening of ottoman Turkey.

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In 1774, the Ottoman Turks relinquished Crimea under the treaty of Kojak Qanarjh. Since then control of the Territory of the Crimean Peninsula has been under Russian rule.

Under Russia, Crimea’s independence was delayed. In 1783, major cities in Crimea were destroyed and burned. Many sites of Islamic history have been destroyed.

The presence of Crimea’s muslim-majority population was reduced, especially under soviet rule. In 1944, Tatar Muslims were forcibly expelled from their territory. Mosques were destroyed. Of the approximately 1,800 mosques there, only about 20-30 remain.

In 1964, the Soviet Union decided to merge Krimea into Ukraine. From then on, the fate of Tatar Muslims slowly changed. Moreover, when Ukraine became independent in 1991, Crimea officially became one of its territories.

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