Vejiye-apte, a national movement veteran, whose family story represents a tragedy of the entire generation eager to return to their home land, believes nobody has the right to give symbolic presents, such as the Altyn Beshik, without consulting their people.

“Giving the Altyn Beshik has its roots in the ancient traditions. The Altyn Beshik is not just a cradle but a symbol of the nation’s history. This is like a heirloom handed down from generation to generation and signifying perpetuation of a species. Mothers rock their babies in a beshik, nurturing them and singing songs to them. Children are what keeps our nation going and to them we owe our future. Therefore, to be able to give presents like these, one needs to secure the consent of the entire nation”, said Vejiye Kashka, a veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement, in an interview to QHA.

According to Vejiye Kashka, one would have to ask for opinion and secure consent of the entire nation, or at least its most famous and authoritative representatives, such as veterans and intellectuals, to be able to give presents like this.

“The first thing one should do is gather people up and ask them how they feel about it. It’s not until after you’ve done that that you can give presents like these. So what if Illyasov is now collaborating with the authorities? That’s his decision. He’s here now but he might be gone tomorrow. None of the Crimean Tatars has ever taken the liberty of giving any presents – and that goes for both Mustafa-ag’a Jemilev and Refat Chubarov. Who does Ilyasov think he is, anyway? ”, said Vejiye Kashka.

According to Vejiye Kashka, people in Crimea are outraged at Illyasov’s antic but scared to speak their mind. Many are of the opinion that he ought to be punished.

When asked whether it is difficult for one to speak one’s mind freely now that any dissident thought is being suppressed in Crimea, Vejiye-apte replied briefly:

“I’m not afraid of speaking my mind. What are they going to do to me? I mean, the authorities and FSS (the Federal Security Service of Russia)? I would not be afraid to say it to Putin if I had to, but I just don’t know how to do that. By the way, Putin himself was taken by surprise when the Altyn Beshik was given to him. I watched the video. The only person who was smiling was Ilyasov. That’s how I feel about it”, said Vejiye Kashka

Putin given Altyn Beshik in Crimea

Representatives of Crimean national organizations gave Russian President Vladimir Putin the Altyn Beshik (translated as ‘a golden cradle’), a symbolic cradle, which, as legend has it, is a symbol of owning Crimea and preserving peace and mutual understanding here.

The present was handed over to Putin prior to his leaving Crimea where he was on a working visit in mid August. “Legend has it that the Golden Cradle is hidden in Crimea, and whoever finds it will own Crimea and achieve peace and mutual understanding on the peninsula. Many have tried to find the cradle but failed. Now a symbolic cradle is here and we are asking you to accept it as a token of our appreciation to you for what you have done for the peoples of Crimea”, Yuri Gempel, the-then Head of the German National and Cultural Autonomy in Crimea, is quoted by Kryminform news agency as saying.

Remzi Ilyasov, a former member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars, Vice Speaker of the State Council of Crimea and Head of the Kyryym Interregional Public Movement, was the one who gave the symbolic golden cradle Vladimir Putin.