Tatarstan (Russian: Респу́блика Татарста́н; Tatar: Татарстан Республикасы/Tatarstan Respublikası) is a federal subject of the Russian Federation (a republic). It is located in the Privolzhsky (Volga) Federal District.
Tatarstan is located in the center of the East European Plain, approximately 700 km east of Moscow. It has an area of 68,000 km² and a population of 3,779,300 (census 2002) which is more than 50% ethnic Tatar. It lies between the Volga River and its tributary, the Kama River, and extends east to the Ural mountains. Its capital is the city of Kazan (Tatar: Qazan), the other major cities are Naberezhnye Chelny (Yar Çallı), Nizhnekamsk (Tübän Kama), Almetyevsk (Älmät), Zelenodolsk (Yäşel Üzän), Bugulma (Bögelmä).
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 from 1766-1770.
In 19th century Tatarstan became one of the places were Jadidism , also known as Euroislam , appeared. Its main quality was a tolerance to other religions.
Tatarstan Jadidist theologists influenced on Tatar people, which made Tatars very friendly to other peoples and religions. But after the October Revolution religion was made illegal and all theologists were repressed.
The boundaries of the current state were set in 1920 as the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which did not include the majority of the Volga Tatars.
Tatarstan declared itself a independent republic on August 30, 1990. On February 15, 1994 there was signed 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" which is sometimes considered as recognition of Tatarstan's independent country status by Russian Federation because it contains mention of Declaration on State Sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan; the "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" treaty was signed on the same day and despite it doesn't contain direct mention of sovereignty, it complements former treaty in politics. In 1994-2000 Tatarstan was an independent state with de facto status. After renovating of Tatarstan Constitution in 2000 Tatarstan explicitly declared that it is a Russian subdivision.
Unicameral National Parliament Däwlät Sovetı whith 100 seats: 50 for Parties and 50 for local deputats.
Tatarstan political status
The Republic of Tatarstan is a consituent republic of the Russian Federation. Most Russian subjects are tied with federal government by the uniform Federal Treaty, but relations between the government of Tatarstan and the Russian federal government are more complex, and precisely defined in the non-separatist Tatarstan Constitution of 2000, which doesn't contradict the Constitution of 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.
- Main articles: Administrative division of Tatarstan (Russian form), Counties of Tatarstan (Tatar form).
Official languages are Tatar and Russian. According to the Federal Law On Languages of Peoples of the Russian Federstion passed in 2002, the official script is Cyrillic. Tatarstan's government as well as human rights groups are strongly opposed to this law.
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 Tatar and Persian stan (commonly for many Moslem countries ending). Other variants are Russian Tataria (former official Russian name) and Turkish Tataristan.
Some Tatarstaners wish for their state to be renamed Bulgaristan, in tribute of their earlier settlers, when the region was still known as Volga Bulgaria.
- DMoz.org: links about Tatarstan
- http://www.kcn.ru/tat_en/tatarstan/agree.htm - 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"