Karaites ask Yanukovych to help them to return their shrine
Crimean Karaites addressed the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych with a request to assist in the return of their national shrines. The Association of Crimean Karaites noted that their national culture is on the brink of extinction, said "Religion in Ukraine" referring to Avdet.
The community needs government support to return historical monuments lost during the Soviet era. Among these appear fortress Chufut-Kale and family cemetery-shrine Balta Tiymez ("ax will not touch") - a place of worship and pilgrimage.
"In 1921, the government took away our sanctuary - Chufut-Kale with kenasa (temples) and others. Now Karaite shrines are part of the Crimean Republic institution" Bakhchysarai Historical and Cultural Reserve ". Officials treat our sacred place as monument of perished nation, which do not need to be considered. For Crimean Karaites a lot of work carried out in the necropolis, is blasphemous, " reads the appeal of the Association of Crimean Karaites.
Crimean Karaites are an old ethnos, which has ancient old Kypchak imprints in language, food and customs. Many scholars consider Karaites as descendants of Khazars or Polovets tribes which accepted Karaism (or Karaimism) - religion of Torah without any comments and additions. Originated from Crimea the folk spreads to Ukraine (Luzk-Halych community) since XIII century and to Lithuania (Trakai community) since XIV century.