Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples
21 November 2005
Press releases by the Estonian Institute for Human Rights:
Young Finno-Ugrians at the Congress of Turkic Youth
12. Congress (Kurultay)
of Turkic Youth took place in Istanbul, Turkey,
Congresses of Turkic Youth are organised by the Youth Organisation of Turkic Youth YOTY/MOTM, which unites youth organisations of Turk, Azeri, Gagauz, Krim Tatar, Volga Tatar, Bashkort, Chuvash, Kabarda, Balkar, Kazakh, Turkmen, Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Uighur, Khakass, Tuva, Yakut, Shor and other peoples. Every year different events are held by MOTM. The place of the congress in Istanbul this year was chosen also because during the post-Soviet times 32 thousand students from countries of the former Soviet Union, and at first hand from Turkic regions of the Russian Federation, studied in Turkey.
MAFUN and MOTM have similar problems. For instance, the issue of delegates’ age margin was discussed at the congress. Many participants of the congress were actually adults. Leading positions in MAFUN can hold activists under thirty years of age when elected, and must not be on government service. Such restriction is in accordance with UNESCO’s definition of youth aged 18-30 years old. The problem of working language was raised at the congress as well. Turkish is clearly lingua franca in the Turkic world, that is why the problem of working languages in MAFUN and other Finno-Ugric fora seems to be sharper.
Turkic language unity consists of more than 40 peoples, more than 150 Millions. Unlike the languages of Finno-Ugric unity Turkic languages are close enough for representatives of different peoples to understand each other; sometimes it is spoken even about one unified Turkic language. Almost all Turkic peoples are Muslims. Finno-Ugrians and Turkic peoples are proven to make an entity by theory that their languages originate from the common Ural-Altaic tree, which branches according to Turkic classification departed in pre-Turan period. Common are also their dissimilarities from Indo-European languages.
There is similarity in political status of these peoples. Only few peoples of these linguistic entities have their own states. At the same time, many peoples are national minorities and live in the Russian Federation and other countries of the former Soviet Union. Membership of Finland, Hungary and Estonia in the European Union predicts trajectory of some modernisation channels for Finno-Ugric peoples in the Russian Federation. Turkey with its rapidly growing population, which forms nowadays more than 74 Millions, and huge Diaspora in many European countries, holds negotiations to join the European Union and needs partners for dialogue in this process.
can become valuable partners for Turks, because they have experience
of work with international and European structures. For example, the
resolution of European Parliament concerning violations of human rights
and democracy in the Republic of Mari El was adopted in May this year.
Other example, exactly on the day when the congress started in Istanbul,
the international seminar for development of international cooperation
of Finno-Ugric ethno-national organisations with international and European
finished its work in Syktyvkar, Komi Republic.