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The Republic of Tatarstan or, unofficially, Tataria (Russian: Респу́блика Татарста́н; Tatar: Cyrillic: Татарстан Республикасы, Latin: Tatarstan Respublikası) is a federal subject of Russia (a republic). The unofficial Tatarstan motto is: Buldırabız! (We can!).

Republic of Tatarstan
Республика Татарстан
Татарстан Республикасы    
Image:Flag of Tatarstan.svg Image:TatarstanCOA25.gif
Flag of Tatarstan Coat of arms of Tatarstan
Capital Kazan (Qazan)

- total
- % water

Ranked 47th

- 67,836.2 km²
- negligible


- Total
- Density

Ranked 8th

- est. 3,779,265 (2002)
- est. 55.6/km²

Political status Republic
Federal district Privolzhsky (Volga) Federal District
Economic Region Povolzhye
Cadaster # 16
Official languages Russian, Tatar
President Mintimer Shaeymiev
Prime-Minister Rustam Minnikhanov
Legislature State Council of Tatarstan
Anthem Hymn of the Republic of Tatarstan


[edit] Terminology

The direct transliteration of its name from Russian is Respublika Tatarstan. Another Tatar version of the name reads Tatarstan Cömhüriäte (cömhüriät is another Tatar term for "republic"), but it is not official. Another version of Russian name is Тата́рия (Tatariya) and was official among with Tatar ASSR during the Soviet rule.

[edit] Geography

The Republic is located in the center of the East European Plain, approximately 800 km east of Moscow. It lies between the Volga River and the Kama River (a tributary of the Volga), and extends east to the Ural mountains.

[edit] Time zone

Tatarstan is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).

[edit] Rivers

Map of the region with the Republic of Tatarstan highlighted

Major rivers include (Tatar names are given in parentheses):

[edit] Lakes

Major reservoirs of the republic include (Tatar names are given in parentheses):

The biggest lake is Qaban.

[edit] Natural resources

Image:Volga steep Tatarstan.jpg
View of the Volga River in the confluence with the Kama River.
Image:Kama yelabuga.jpg
View on the Taima River from Devil's Tower in Yelabuga.

Major natural resources of Tatarstan include oil, natural gas, gypsum, and more. It is estimated that the Republic has over one billion tons of oil deposits.

[edit] Climate

  • Average January temperature: -16°C
  • Average July temperature: +19°C
  • Average annual precipitation: up to 500 mm

[edit] Administrative divisions

Main articles: Administrative divisions of Tatarstan (Russian form), Counties of Tatarstan (Tatar form).

[edit] Demographics

According to the 2002 Census, ethnic Tatars at 2,000,116 make up 52.9% of the republic's population. Other groups include Russians (1,492,602, or 39.5%), Chuvash (126,532, or 3.4%), Udmurts (24,207, or 0.6%), Ukrainians (24,016, or 0.6%), Mordvins (23,702, or 0.6%), Mari (18,787, or 0.5%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population. Birth rate was 10.25 1000 in 2004.

Official languages are Tatar and Russian. According to the 2002 Russian Federal Law (On Languages of Peoples of the Russian Federation), the official script is Cyrillic. Tatarstan's government as well as human rights groups and some Russian intellectuals are strongly opposed to this law. <ref>Strasbourg Court To Hear On Lawsuit Promoting Tatar Latin Alphabet </ref><ref>(Russian) Верховный суд РТ признал республиканский закон о латинице недействительным, но спикер татарстанского парламента Фарид Мухаметшин считает этот вопрос открытым</ref>

  • Population: 3,779,265 (2002)
    • Urban: 2,790,661 (73.8%)
    • Rural: 988,604 (26.2%)
    • Male: 1,749,050 (46.3%)
    • Female: 2,030,215 (53.7%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,161
  • Average age: 36.5 years
    • Urban: 35.7 years
    • Rural: 38.7 years
    • Male: 33.8 years
    • Female: 38.8 years
  • Number of households: 1,305,360 (with 3,747,267 people)
    • Urban: 970,540 (with 2,762,818 people)
    • Rural: 334,820 (with 984,449 people)

[edit] History

The main article is History of Tatarstan

Tatarstan map

[edit] Middle Ages

The earliest known organized state within the boundaries of Tatarstan was Volga Bulgaria (c. 700-1238 CE). The Volga Bulgars had an advanced mercantile state with trade contacts throughout Inner Eurasia, the Middle East and the Baltic, which maintained its independence despite pressure by such nations as the Khazars, the Kievan Rus and the Kipchaks. Islam was introduced by missionaries from Baghdad around the time of ibn Fadlan's journey in 922.

Volga Bulgaria finally fell to the armies of the Mongol prince Batu Khan in the late 1230s (see Mongol invasion of Volga Bulgaria.) The inhabitants, mixing with the Golden Horde's Turco-Mongolian, Kipchak-speaking troops and settlers, became known as the "Volga Tatars." In the 1430s the region again became independent as the base of the Khanate of Kazan, Kazan having been founded 170 km above by Volga from the ruined capital of the Bulgars.

Tatarstan was conquered by the troops of Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible in the 1550s, with Kazan being taken in 1552. Some Tatars were forcibly converted to Christianity and cathedrals were built in Kazan; by 1593 all mosques in the area were destroyed. The Russian government forbade the construction of mosques, a prohibition that was not lifted until the 18th century by Catherine II. The first mosque to be rebuilt under Catherine's auspices was constructed in 1766-1770.

[edit] Modern times

In the 19th century Tatarstan became centers of Jadidism, an Islamic sect that preached a tolerance to other religions. Under the influence of Tatarstan Jadidist theologians, the Tatars were renowned for their friendly relations with other peoples of the Russian Empire. However, after the October Revolution religion was largely outlawed and all theologians were repressed.

During the Civil War of 1918-1920 Tatar nationalists attempted to establish an independent republic (the Idel-Ural State). They were, however, put down by the Bolsheviks and the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was established on May 27 1920. The boundaries of the republic did not include the majority of the Volga Tatars.

[edit] Tatarstan today

Tatarstan declared independence on August 30, 1990 as a sovereign state and no longer a subject of USSR or Russian Federation. During 1991-1994 Tatarstan was de facto independent state (called in Russia internal abroad like Chechnya). On February 15, 1994 Treaty On Delimitation of Jurisdictional Subjects and Mutual Delegation of Authority between the State Bodies of the Russian Federation and the State Bodies of the Republic of Tatarstan and Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan (On Delimitation of Authority in the Sphere of Foreign Economic Relations) were signed. These agreements may be considered as temporary recognition of Tatarstan's independence by Russian Federation, because it mentions the Declaration on State Sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan. According to this agreements and own law of republic (constitution etc) Republic of Tatarstan in 1994-2000 was a sovereign state, subject of international law, associated with Russia as confederal relationship.

[edit] Post-Soviet timeline

  • 30 August 1990: Declaration of Sovereignty was proclaimed.
  • 1991-1994: Tatarstan was de facto independent state.
  • 12 June 1991: The first elections for President of Tatarstan. Mintimer Shaymiev was elected.
  • 21 March 1992: Referendum held regarding Tatarstan's status. The majority of the population support Tatarstan's independence.
  • November 1992: The Constitution of Tatarstan accepted by parliament.
  • 15 February 1994: The Treaty On Delimitation of Jurisdictional Subjects and Mutual Delegation of Authority between the State Bodies of the Russian Federation and the State Bodies of the Republic of Tatarstan was signed.
  • 1994-2000: Tatarstan was associated state with Russian Federation on confederal status.
  • 1995 and 1999 elections held for the Parliament of Tatarstan.
  • 2000 and then 2002: Numerous amendments to Tatarstan's Constitution.
  • since 2000: Tatarstan is a subject of Russian Federation.
History of Tatarstan
Great Bulgaria
Volga Bulgaria
Mongol invasion
Golden Horde
Khanate of Kazan
Kazan Governorate
Idel-Ural State
Tatar ASSR
Republic of Tatarstan
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[edit] Politics

The head of the government in Tatarstan is the President. As of 2006, the President is Mintimer Shaeymiev (Tatar: Mintimer Şäymiev, Russian: Минтимер Шарипович Шаймиев). Tatarstan's unicameral National Parliament (Däwlät Sovetı, Государственный Совет) has 100 seats: 50 are for representatives of the parties, other 50 are for deputies from the republic's localities. The speaker of the National Parliament is Farit Mukhametshin (Färit Möxämmätşin, Фарид Хайруллович Мухаметшин).

According to the Tatarstan Constitution, the President can be elected only by the people of Tatarstan, but due to Russian federal law this law was suspended for an indefinite term. The Russian law about election of governors says they should be elected by local parliaments and that the candidate can be presented only by the president.

On March 25 2005 Shaymiev was re-elected for his fourth term by Parliament. This election was held after changes in electoral law and doesn't contradict the Tatarstan and Russian Constitutions.

[edit] Political status

The Republic of Tatarstan is a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. Most of the Russian federal subjects are tied with the Russian federal government by the uniform Federal Treaty, but relations between the government of Tatarstan and the Russian federal government are more complex, and are precisely defined in the Tatarstan Constitution of 2000. The following passage from the Tatarstan Constitution defines the republic's status without contradicting the Constitution of the Russian Federation:

The Republic of Tatarstan is a democratic constitutional State associated with the Russian Federation by the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan On Delimitation of Jurisdictional Subjects and Mutual Delegation of Powers between the State Bodies of the Russian Federation and the State Bodies of the Republic of Tatarstan, and a subject of the Russian Federation. The sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan shall consist in full possession of the State authority (legislative, executive and judicial) beyond the competence of the Russian Federation and powers of the Russian Federation in the sphere of shared competence of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan and shall be an inalienable qualitative status of the Republic of Tatarstan.

[edit] External links

  1. Сonstitution of the Republic of Tatarstan
  2. Treaty Between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan
  3. Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Tatar Soviet Socialist Republic
  4. List of Intergovernmental Agreements Between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan

[edit] Economy

Image:The Spirit of Kazan.jpg
The Spirit of Kazan

Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed federal subjects of Russia; it is also the second most industrialized federal subject after Samara Oblast. Industrial production constitutes 45% of the Republic's gross regional domestic product. The most developed branches are chemical and oil processing, machine building, and wood processing industries.

[edit] Culture

Main article: Culture of Tatarstan

Major libraries include the Science Library of Kazan State University and the National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan. There are two museums of republican significance, as well as 90 museums of local importance. In the past several years new museums appeared throughout the Republic.

There are 16 theaters in Tatarstan.

[edit] Education

The most important facilities of higher education include Kazan State University, Kazan State Medical University, Kazan State Technical University and Russian Islam University, all located in the capital Kazan.

[edit] Religion

Main article: Islam of Tatarstan

The most common faiths include Sunni Islam, variants of Shi'a and Sufi belief and Russian Orthodox Church. As of 2004, there were 1,208 buildings used for religious purposes in Tatarstan; 1,014 of which were Islamic, and 176 Russian Orthodox.

[edit] Miscellaneous

Image:Road and Volga.JPG
Tatarstan landscape

The people of ethnic majority of Tatarstan are usually offended when called Tartars. The preferred name is Tatars. Inhabitants of Tatarstan regardless of ethnicity are usually called Tatarstaners (Tatarstanlı/татарстанлы, татарстанец).

The name Tatarstan derives from the Tatar and Persian -stan (an ending common to many Muslim countries). Other variants of the republic's name are Russian Tataria (former official Russian name) and Turkish Tataristan.

Some Tatarstaners wish for their state to be renamed Bulgaristan (like Alania), claiming that the region was called Bulgaristan by its inhabitants until 1922 in tribute to the early settlers.

[edit] See also

[edit] Further reading

  • Lost Cosmonaut: Observations of an Anti-tourist Daniel Kalder
  • The Model of Tatarstan: Under President Mintimer Shaimiev Ravil Bukharaev
  • The Volga Tatars: A Profile in National Resilience Azadeayse Rorlich

[edit] References


[edit] External links

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  1. On January 1, 2007, Evenk and Taymyr Autonomous Okrugs will be merged into Krasnoyarsk Krai.
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