The paper focuses on Crimean Tatars - a stateless nation, which was subject to forced assimilation policy during the Soviet period. The dynamics of the nationality question after the USSR collapse has changed dramatically: members of ethnic groups started (re)learning their languages, (re)writing their histories, and articulating political demands. The crucial factors in shaping the nature, directions and intensity of the national revival are: (1) collective memory, (2) quality of intellectual and political elites - among others, the presence or absence of national institutions, (3) role of religion in a given community, (4) available political strategies, and (5) socio-cultural and politico-economic background of transition. In case of Crimean Tatars their awareness of former persecutions and traumatic experience of deportation from Crimea (in 1944) and return to Crimea (after 1989) is a source of social bonds and consolidation of ethnic community. At the same time, in Crimean Tatar case, success of the national revival and relative success in coping with problems of recent migration depended heavily on ethnic political institutions - Kurultay and Mejlis, which were able to consolidate intellectual elites and effectively articulate political and social demands of this ethnic community.
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