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Last Updated: Friday, 25 March, 2005, 12:43 GMT
Ukraine airs Crimean Tatar radio
By Helen Fawkes
BBC News, Ukraine

Studio microphone
The new radio station hopes to tackle social issues
A Crimean Tatar radio station has opened in Ukraine - the first time a dedicated station there has broadcast news in the Tatar language.

Tens of thousands of Tatars were exiled to Central Asia by Soviet authorities and they were only allowed home to the Crimea in the last years of the USSR.

Many Crimean Tatars in Ukraine say they are still treated like second class citizens in the Black Sea peninsula.

But the launch of Radio Meydan is a sign of growing acceptance.

On air 12 hours a day, seven days a week, Radio Meydan has traditional music as well as speech programmes.

Key topics

More than 250,000 Crimean Tatars have returned home after the mass deportation 60 years ago.

But life has been hard. There are problems with discrimination, housing and poverty. These are some of the issues which the radio station is aiming to cover.

During last year's presidential election in Ukraine, Crimean Tatar leaders supported the opposition.

Under the new administration of Viktor Yushchenko, they are now hoping they will be rewarded with a greater political role in the region.

They also hope that this radio station will be the first of many projects which advance the culture of Crimean Tatars in Ukraine.


SEE ALSO:
Ukraine probes unrest in Crimea
24 Mar 04 |  Europe
Was it better in Soviet days?
24 Aug 01 |  Specials
Country profile: Ukraine
12 May 04 |  Country profiles


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