The head of the Association of Gagauz Societies of the Republic, Yuri Dimchoglo, expressed concern for the position of the Gagauzians in Ukraine in connection with their non-inclusion in the indigenous peoples of the country, the Internet newspaper “Strana.ua” reported on Saturday, July 3.
He noted that he was very happy for the Krymchaks, Crimean Tatars and Karaites who were included in this list, but one should not forget about the Gagauz.
“The Gagauz people are also an indigenous people. We have lived here for over two hundred and fifty years. And we completely fall under the definition of the indigenous people of Ukraine, ”the head of the Association emphasized.
Dimchoglo noted that the Gagauz community submitted appropriate amendments to the bill, but the document was “very quickly” adopted, and they did not have time to introduce them. According to Dimchoglo, they promise to add changes on the recognition of the Gagauz as an indigenous people in the fall.
“We really hope so. This is very important, ”he pointed out.
At present, in the Gagauz regions of Ukraine, the head of the Association explained, the native language is taught from the first to the eleventh grade, but if no amendments are made, then the schoolchildren will learn the Gagauz language only from the first to the fourth.
The Gagauz are a Turkic-speaking people living mainly in Bessarabia, in the south of Moldova and in the Odessa region of Ukraine.
On July 1, the Verkhovna Rada adopted the law on the indigenous peoples of Ukraine, introduced by the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on May 18. The document separately spelled out the indigenous peoples of the country, which were formed on the territory of the Crimea. It is noted that indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination in Ukraine, establish their political status within the framework of the constitution and laws of the country, freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.
Russians are not included in the law on the indigenous peoples of Ukraine.
This decision was supported by 326 deputies with the required minimum of 226 votes. However, the document has yet to be signed by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
On June 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that Kiev’s attempt to divide the inhabitants of Ukraine into indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples is comparable to the ideas of Nazi Germany. According to the Russian leader, such a bill is absolutely unacceptable.