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Tatars in History and in Modern World

"Nations are like birds that in strong wind dart away from their familiar spots and shoot upwards high in the sky shining with their skill and might; once the wind of progress blows, fluttered they come together and each nation's representative disburdens his mind of a sore point. Like birds shooting skywards they demonstrate their thews, gifts and greatness of their spirit."
Gabdulla Tukay

G. Tukay. Photo of 1912. Books by G.Tukay published in his lifetime.

Gabdulla Tukay (1886 -1913)

"In the sky of poetry, there is a galaxy of poets whose names can not be sponged out of the people's memory by neither flames of wars nor dust of ages. In the Orient, these are Rudaki, Hayam, Hafiz, Nizami, Rustaveli, Navoi and Kul Gali (Kashani)... In the Occident - Dante, Goethe, Heine, Byron, Pushkin. Their names are shining even brighter with time.

There also is a galaxy of democratic poets: Shevchenko, Burns, Peto fi, Nekrasov, Abai, among whom glows the luminous star of our young Tukay".

Hasan Tufan

Kul Gali

In 1983, the world celebrated the 800th anniversary of the founder of Bolgar-Tatar literature, poet Kul Gali. His poem Kyssa-i Yusuf (Saga about Yusuf), descending from one generation to another, has come to the contemporary readers as one of the best pieces of art of the 13th century forming the golden fund of the world's epic poetry.

Kul Sharif

Kul Sharif is a great poet of the 16th century, diplomat, religious and cultural personality. Once he was a seid, i.e. a chief priest of Kazan Khanate. In the last khanate's period he conducted diplomatic negotiations between Kazan and Moscow. It was he who handed in 1551 the petition to Ivan IV the Terrible in Moscow and a deed on peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Sviyazhsk Island in 1552.


Poet and humanist, whose 500th anniversary was celebrated by the public during the Second World Congress of Tatars as a prominent representative of Tatar literature of the 15th-16th centuries.

Kayum Nasyri (1825-1902)

Distinguished enlightener of the 19th century, Kayum Nasyri is rightfully spoken of as an artist, illustrator, book art master. He was a philosopher, historian, writer (author of the books "Tale of Forty Viziers", 1868, "Abugalisina", 1872), a theorist in the field of ethics, aesthetics and a folklore researcher. He was a practising teacher, and the first school for teaching Muslim children the Russian language which he opened in Kazan in 1871 was a significant progressive step.

Salih Saydashev (1900-1954)

In the history of Tatar professional music, great is the role of Salih Saydashev, a talented composer, whose creative maturity fell on the 20s and whose further creative work inaugurated a new era in Tatar music evolution.

Baki Urmanche (1897 - 1990)

"Baki Urmanche is the patriarch of our graphic arts. When we are asked who is the founder of Tatar poetry and music, we answer: Gabdulla Tukay and Salih Saydash. When we are asked who is the founder of Tatar fine arts, we answer: Baki aga Urmanche".

Naki Isanbet.

Mousa Jalil (1906-1944)

Mousa Jalil is the world famous Tatar poet and a hero of the anti-fascist underground.

Sofya Gubaidoullina (b. 1931)

Sofya Gubaidoullina is the composer whose name is well known all over the world. Her music is called the music free from shackles...

"...Basically, as a daughter of two worlds, I live with my soul in the music of the East and the West at the same time. And yet musicologists seem to hear the dominance of Tatar melodies in my works ".

Sofya Gubaidoullina.

Akchourin brothers

Rasim S. Akchourin, Colonel-General, former AA Missile Forces Commander of the country's Air Defence, adviser to the Russian Federation Government.

"...Our people has the right to be proud of their defenders. The fact that among two thousand generals in this country by the early 90s there were over 80 generals and admirals of Tatar extraction, speaks for itself," said Rasim Akchourin in an interview, "The attitude towards the Tatars is changing at a certain level. In 1982, the Air Defence Military Council considered me as a candidate for the post of Air Defence Army Commander. My candidacy was favoured everywhere, but the assignment has failed. As it later developed, the then First Secretary of the Leningrad Oblast Party Committee, G. Romanov, has interfered with the words: "Can it be true that, except for a Tatar, you happen to have no candidatures for the nurse of the October Revolution?"

As the President of a Tatar national and cultural autonomy, the Tatar Community of Moscow and Moscow Oblast, R.S.Akchourin believes, that "the Russian society needs to comprehend properly that we, Tatars, are still other people, our mentality is different, that the Tatar nation wishes to live as an equal among equals, without division into 'seniors and juniors' in the Russian multi-ethnic family".

Renat S. Akchourin, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. Cardiac surgeon Renat S. Akchourin will go down in medical history and in Russian history in general not only as a first-class surgeon by the grace of Allah, but as a specialist who performed the cardiac surgery to Russian President B.Yeltsin.

"Apart from Moscow, my team has plans to work in the near future in the clinics and hospitals of Kazan, Tomsk, Tyumen, the capital city of Tatarstan's oil industry, Almetyevsk, where the oil enterprises together with American specialists are building a specialised hospital. This, I reckon, is a really rational investment. So, if they wish to, the local leaders together with businessmen can solve many problems of medicine."

Noteworthy is the fact that many instruments developed by the famous surgeon are made in Kazan.

Sagdeev brothers

Roald Z. Sagdeev (b. 1932), Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Member of the US National Academy and Royal Scientific Academy of Sweden. In 1973-1988 he worked as Director of USSR AS Institute of Space Research. Headed the International Space Project "Venus-Halley" ("Vega"), "Pilot" and "Phobos" projects. Author of studies on plasma physics and magneto-fluid dynamics. Lenin Prize (1984). In 1990, after being married to Susan Eisenhower, he moved to the USA. Professor of Maryland State University.

Renad Z. Sagdeev (b. 1941), Doctor of Chemistry, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1965 -1993, he worked in the Siberian branch of RAS (probationer - junior research worker, Head of Laboratory, Deputy Director). Since 1993 he holds the post of Director of International Centre of Tomography in Novosibirsk. Lenin Prize (1986) and the State Prize (1994).