CRIMEAN TATAR

A new addition to Encyclopaedia Iranica

CRIMEAN TATAR (Krim-Tatar, Qırım-Tatar), a name for a variety of Turkic-speaking peoples who moved to the Crimean peninsula in the past and are now found in the Crimea; in the steppe north of it (Ukraine); and in the Crimean-Muslim diaspora in Turkey, Uzbekistan, Rumania, Bulgaria, and elsewhere.  The name was coined to discern between the Turkic Tatar of the Crimea and other Tatar languages (e.g., Volga-Tatar/Kazan-Tatar, etc.); the Turkic Azeri was also used to be called, in Russian usage during the Qajar period, “Caucasian-Tatar/Mountain-Tatar/Azerbaijan-Tatar,” or even “Persian” (persidskii, to distinguish it from farsidskii).  Similar to the situation concerning many other Turkic languages, Crimean-Tatar is rather a cultural phenomenon than a linguistic one, since it conveyed different meanings in different places and times.