Crimean Muslims protest against the construction of a skating rink on Yevpatoria's cemetery site

09 March, 17:32
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Crimean Muslims protest against the construction of a skating rink on Yevpatoria's cemetery site - фото 1
Residents of Yevpatoria who profess Islam oppose the construction of a skating rink by the Russian authorities on the site of an ancient Muslim cemetery.

This was announced by State Duma deputy Ruslan Balbek, portal Credo.Press reports.

"I was approached by dozens of local residents, whose ancestors are buried here, with requests not to allow blasphemy. We agreed with representatives of the administration of Yevpatoria that they will choose another place for the ice rink," Balbek said.

Evpatoria Muslims ask not to allow the construction of any buildings on the site on Squadronnaya Street. Next to it are Karaite and Orthodox cemeteries, which have official protected status. There are also Muslim burials that do not have this status.

"According to local residents, Crimean Muslims were buried on a plot of about six hectares before the deportation. The last burials date back to 1944. During the Soviet period, tombstones were removed, and the ground was leveled. Soon, a fish factory was built on one of the edges of the site. Then a gas station and an outpatient clinic were built on the part of this cemetery. In the 1990s, when the Crimean Tatars began to return to the peninsula, they installed a memorial sign on this land, but during the Ukrainian period, they were not able to get the site granted official protection status," the deputy's press service said.

The head of the occupation administration of Yevpatoria, Roman Tikhonchuk, said in early February that Russian figure skater Ilya Averbukh plans to open a winter sports school in this resort town in Crimea.

1.9 million people live in Crimea, while 13-15% of them are Crimean Tatars who were victims of forced deportation during the Soviet era.