MINELRES: SURI Press release: Young Finno-Ugrians at the Congress of Turkic Youth

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Tue Dec 13 13:00:44 2005


Original sender: Information Centre of Finno-Ugric Peoples
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Press release                 Tallinn, 21 November 2005
For immediate release


INFORMATION CENTRE OF FINNO-UGRIC PEOPLES
Tallinn, Estonia
Phone/fax:      (+372) 644 9270
E-mail:         suri@suri.ee
http://www.suri.ee/


Young Finno-Ugrians at the Congress of Turkic Youth

12. Congress (Kurultay) of Turkic Youth took place in Istanbul, Turkey,
13. - 20. November, and finished its work yesterday. Minister of Foreign
Affairs of Turkey Abdullah Gul opened the event. 230 delegate from many
countries participated in its work, among them representatives of the
Youth Association of Finno-Ugric Peoples YAFUP/MAFUN from Finland,
Hungary, Estonia, and Finno-Ugric regions of the Russian Federation.
Finno-Ugric and Turkic youth used regular opportunity to discuss similar
problems, exchange opinions on hot issues of the day, to share
experience of language and culture assertion, fostering of
ethno-national identities.

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.

Finno-Ugrians 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. 

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