April 17, 1938 is considered a black day in the history of the Crimean Tatar people.
80 years ago the NKVD executioners shot 36 of the most outstanding Crimean Tatar public figures, scientists and representatives of the political elite within three days. Before the execution, the Chekists held "court hearings", which lasted no longer than 20 minutes.
All representatives of the intelligentsia were presented in criminal cases as traitors to the motherland and protégés of the anti-Soviet regime. They were accused of espionage and nationalism.
Preparation for repression began in 1936, when the writer Cafer Ğafar was arrested, and then the scientist and later a poet Bekir Çoban-zade.
The Stalinist repressions were another attempt of the communist regime to silence the Crimean Tatar people.
Until now, most of the data about those times are classified and the information about how many representatives of the Crimean Tatar intelligentsia perished in three days and where their bodies are buried remains unclear.
Among the executed were public figure, writer, chairman of the First Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people Asan Sabri Ayvazov, writer, teacher Osman Aqçoqraqlı, first director of the Bakhchsarai Palace Museum, ethnographer Usein Bodaninsky, linguist and teacher Yagya Bayrashevsky, former People's Commissar of Agriculture Suleyman Idrisov, poet and philologist Abdulla Lâtif-zade, editor, publicist, public figure Mamut Nedim, Chairman of the Crimean government in 1929-1937 Abduraim Samedinov, Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Crimean ASSR Ilyas Tarhan and many others.
Annually before the Russian occupation in Crimea, a prayer was held in memory of those representatives of the Crimean Tatar intelligentsia who died on April 17, 1938.