The Republic of Tatarstan (Russian: Респу́блика Татарста́н or Тата́рия; Tatar: Татарстан Республикасы/Tatarstan Respublikası) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). The direct transliteration of the Russian name of the republic is Respublika Tatarstan.
Another version of Tatar name is Tatarstan Cömhüriäte (cömhüriät also is a Tatar for republic), but it is not official.
The Republic is located in the center of the East European Plain , approximately 800 km east of Moscow. It lies between the Volga River and the Kama River (a tributary of the Volga), and extends east to the Ural mountains.
- Area: 68,000 km²
- Highest point: 343 m
- Maximum N->S distance: 290 km.
- Maximum E->W distance: 460 km.
Tatarstan is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).
Major rivers include:
Map of the region with the Republic of Tatarstan highlighted
Major reservoirs of the republic include:
- Kuybyshevskoye Reservoir
- Nizhnekamskoye Reservoir
Major natural resources of Tatarstan include oil, natural gas, gypsum, and more. It is estimated that the Republic has over one billion tons of oil deposits.
- Average January temperature: -16°C
- Average July temperature: +19°C
- Average annual precipitation: up to 500 mm
Map of Tatarstan (in Tatar, Latin script
- Main articles: Administrative division of Tatarstan (Russian form), Counties of Tatarstan (Tatar form).
About 70 nationalities inhabit Tatarstan. Ethnic Tatars (over 50%) and Russians account for most of the population.
Official languages are Tatar and Russian. According to the 2002 Russian Federal Law (On Languages of Peoples of the Russian Federation), the official script is Cyrillic. Tatarstan's government as well as human rights groups are strongly opposed to this law.
- Population: 3,779,265 (2002)
- Urban: 2,790,661 (73.8%)
- Rural: 988,604 (26.2%)
- Male: 1,749,050 (46.3%)
- Female: 2,030,215 (53.7%)
- Females per 1000 males: 1,161
- Average age: 36.5 years
- Urban: 35.7 years
- Rural: 38.7 years
- Male: 33.8 years
- Female: 38.8 years
- Number of households: 1,305,360 (with 3,747,267 people)
- Urban: 970,540 (with 2,762,818 people)
- Rural: 334,820 (with 984,449 people)
The state has existed from the 9th century as Volga Bulgaria. The Volga Bulgars were converted to Islam by missionaries from Baghdad around 922. After the area was conquered by the Mongols of the Golden Horde under Batu Khan in the 1230s, they were named Tatars by their conquerors. In the 1430s their land became a base of the Khanate of Kazan. It was conquered by the troops of Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible in the 1550s, with Kazan being taken in 1552. Some Tatars were forcibly converted to Christianity and cathedrals were built in Kazan; from 1593 all mosques in the area were destroyed. The prohibition to construct mosques was not lifted until the 18th century by Catherine II and the first mosque was built in 1766-1770.
In the 19th century Tatarstan became one of the places were Jadidism appeared. Its main quality was a tolerance to other religions.
Tatarstan Jadidist theologians influenced the Tatar people to become very friendly to other peoples and religions. But after the October Revolution religion was made illegal and all theologians were repressed.
After the Civil War of 1918-1920 the bourgeois nationalists, who wanted to remain an independent bourgeois (Idel-Ural State), were supressed, and Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was established on May 27, 1920. The boundaries of the republic did not include the majority of the Volga Tatars.
Tatarstan declared independence on August 30, 1990. On February 15, 1994 an Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan (
On Delimitation of Authority in the Sphere of Foreign Economic Relations) was signed. This agreement is sometimes considered as recognition of Tatarstan's independence by Russian Federation, because it mentions the Declaration on State Sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan.
On the same day the Treaty On Delimitation of Jurisdictional Subjects and Mutual Delegation of Authority between the State Bodies of the Russian Federation and the State Bodies of the Republic of Tatarstan was signed, and despite the fact that it does not recognize Tatarstan's sovereignty directly, it complements the former treaty in politics. In 1994-2000 Tatarstan was a de facto independent state. After the Constitution of Tatarstan was revised in 2000, the republic explicitly declared that it is a federal subject of Russia.
The head of the government in Tatarstan is the President. As of 2005, the President is Mintimer Shaeymiev (Tatar: Mintimer Şäymiev). Tatarstan's unicameral National Parliament (Däwlät Sovetı) has 100 seats: 50 are for representatives of the parties, other 50 are for deputies from the republic's localities. The speaker of the National Parliament is Farit Mukhametshin (Färit Möxämmätşin).
By Tatarstan Constitution president could be elected only by people of Tatarstan, but due to Russian federal law this law was stopped fo indefinite term. The Russian law about election of governors sais, that thei should be elected by local parliaments and candidate could be presented only by president.
In the 25 of Mart, 2005 Shaymiev was re-elected at the his 4th term by Parliament, due this election was after the changes in electial laws and don't contradict to Tatarstan and Russia's Constitution.
The Republic of Tatarstan is a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. Most of the Russian federal subjects are tied with the Russian federal government by the uniform Federal Treaty, but relations between the government of Tatarstan and the Russian federal government are more complex, and are precisely defined in the Tatarstan Constitution of 2000. The following passage from the Tatarstan Constitution defines the republic's status without contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federation:
The Republic of Tatarstan is a democratic constitutional State associated with the Russian Federation by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan On Delimitation of Jurisdictional Subjects and Mutual Delegation of Powers between the State Bodies of the Russian Federation and the State Bodies of the Republic of Tatarstan, and a subject of the Russian Federation. The sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan shall consist in full possession of the State authority (legislative, executive and judicial) beyond the competence of the Russian Federation and powers of the Russian Federation in the sphere of shared competence of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan and shall be an inalienable qualitative status of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed federal subjects of Russia; it is also the second most industrialized federal subject after Samara Oblast. Industrial production constitues 45% of the Republic's gross regional domestic product. The most developed branches are chemical and oil processing, machine building, and wood processing industries.
Major libraries include the Science Library of Kazan State University and the National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan. There are two museums of republican significance, as well as 90 museums of local importance. In the past several years new museums appeared throughout the Republic.
There are 16 theaters in Tatarstan.
The most important facilities of higher education include Kazan State University, Kazan State Medical University , and Kazan State Technical University , all located in the capital Kazan.
The most common confessions include Sunni Islam and Russian Orthodox Church. As of 2004, there were 1,208 buildings used for religious purposes in Tatarstan; 1,014 of which were Islamic, and 176—Russian Orthodox.
The people of ethnic majority of Tatarstan are usually offended when called Tartars. The preferred name is Tatars. Inhabitants of Tatarstan regardless of ethnicity are usually called Tatarstaners.
The name Tatarstan derives from the Tatar and Persian stan (an ending common to many Muslim countries). Other variants of the republic's name are Russian Tataria (former official Russian name) and Turkish Tataristan.
Some Tatarstaners wish for their state to be renamed Bulgaristan, in tribute to the early settlers, when the region was still known as Volga Bulgaria.