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Belarus - The Tatars

Last modified: 2023-06-03 by zachary harden
Keywords: belarus | tatar | tartar | tataria | tartary |
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image by Ivan Sache, 18 September 1999

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This flag is listed under number 101 at the chart "Flags of Aspirant Peoples" [asp] as : " Ak-Rusya Tatar (Tatars) - Belorussia." - Horizontal white-red-white with white crescent and star in red stripe, shifted to the hoist.
Ivan Sache, 16 September 1999

"Ak" means "white" in Tatar -- so "Akrusa^" is a literal translation of "Belorossia^ / Belarush" ("White Russia"). My Soviet atlas doesn't list any Tatar minority in Belarus
Antonio Martins, 16 September 1999

My soviet mini-atlas shows a Russian minority and areas in northwestern Belarus of mixed Belorussian/Polish population. Anyway, the minority situation in the Soviet Union was extremely complex, and these atlases tend to only list the larger minorities (or at least the "politically correct" larger minorities). Therefore it is not to exclude the existence of Tatars in Belarus...
Jorge Candeias, 24 September 1999

Confirmed: in Fischer Weltalmanach 1999 - in 'Weissrussland' (Belarus) there is a minority of 'Tataren' - Tatars.
Jarig Bakker, 24 September 1999

According to Basau and Kurkou [bku94], this is flag of Belarusian Association of Tatars-Muslims "Al Ketab" (Belaruska Zhurtavannya Tatarau-Musulman "Al Ketab"). Association was created in 1990 and flag was probably adopted in the same time.
Tatars of former Grand Duchy of Lithuania live now in Poland, Belarus and Lithuania, and a small number also in Ukraine. The number of them all is about 16 000. In July 2001 the Association of Tatars of Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine was created in Sokolka (Poland).
Grzegorz Skrukwa, 17 May 2002

I have seen references to Tartars living in the Kingdom of Poland (see Polish Tatars) and Lithuania, specifically in areas which are now parts of Belarus.  I believe that some of them were refugees from the protracted strife on the steppe, which followed the Mongol conquest, and some were prisoners of war captured by one of the Polish Kings and transported along with their families to provide forced labor on Polish estates. 
David L. Barrett, 8 December 2002