General information about the Republic of Tatarstan
The average population density is 55 persons per sq. km. Tatarstan is a multi-ethnic republic made up of more than 70 ethnic groups. Two major ethnic groups are the Tatars (48.5% of the total population) and the Russians (43.3%).
Due to some historical reasons only one-fourth of all the Tatars living in the ex-USSR are residents of the Republic of Tatarstan. Large groups of the Tatars are residents of the Volga-Ural Basin, West Siberia, Don bass (Ukraine), Kazakhstan, Middle Asia states, and Moscow and St.Petersburg. The Tatar communities can be found also in many countries of Europe, Asia, America and Australia.
Official languages of the Republic of Tatarstan are the Tatar language (Turkic group of Altaic language family) and Russian (Slavic group of Indo-European language family). The overwhelming majority of the Tatars speaks Russian. The Constitution of Tatarstan guarantees the equality of both official languages - Tatar and Russian. Nevertheless, Russian is still predominant in commercial circles.
English and other European languages are known by small part of the population.
Turkic writing has ancient traditions dated back to tile 5th-7th centuries,
when the people started to use common-Turkic runic writing. Together with the Moslem religion since 10th century the Arabic script came to the Volga-Kama Bulgaria, till the year of 1928.
In 1928-1938 the Roman-based alphabet was used, since 1938 the Tatar written language is based on Cyrillic script.
The history of Bulgar-Tatar literature numbers ten centuries; the first printed book in the Tatar language was published in the middle of 18th century. At present, about 600 books with total edition of some 8 mln copies are published in the Republic annually with 170 issues of periodicals and 30 magazines. Several dozens of periodicals are also issued in the Tatar language.
In the Republic there are 16 professional theatres, conservatory, State Symphonic Orchestra, 27 museums, 1800 libraries with 20 min books. Traditional festivals are: the International Opera Festival named after F.I.Shalyapin (who was born in Kazan), the Festival of Classic Ballet named after Rudolf Nuriev.
In Tatarstan operate 7 "creative communions" - Writers Union, Journalists Union, Composers Union, Cinernatography Union, Theatre Workers Union, Architectors Union. Under the Presidential authority the Fund for Culture Development and Support is established.
The Sunnite Islam appeared in the territory of Tatarstan in the beginning
of the l0th century: at present, it is confessed by half of the population of the Republic - the Tatars and the Bashkirs. The Tatars are the most Northern Moslem nation in the world.
The Orthodox Christianity appeared in the middle of the 16th century after collapse of the Kazan Khanate: it is shared by the other half of the population - the Russians, the Chuvashes, the Mari, the Udmurts. the Mordvinians, and some Tatars.
At present, about 700 mosques and 200 churches (some of them have not yet official registration) function in the Republic of Tatarstan.
Tatarstan has 16 institutions of higher education with the total enrolment of about 125,000 students. Among these institutions Kazan University is one of the oldest Universities in Russia (established in 1804). More than 54,000 students are enrolled in 67 technical institutions of secondary education. There are 2545 secondary schools, colleges, gymnasiums and lyceums, with total enrolment of 588,000 pupils. School literature is issued by "Magarif" Publishing House.
The Republic of Tatarstan has powerful scientific potential; the competence
of Kazan scientists in the fields of mathematics, mechanics, chemistry, physics, linguistics, medicine, biology is recognised all over the world. In Kazan the Tatarstan
Academy of Sciences and Kazan Scientific Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences are located, uniting numerous academic institutions of national significance. More than 60 branches of scientific and research institutes operate in the Republic. The
large-scale scientific research works are also performed in the institutions of higher education.
The following are the basic fields of fundamental and applied studies: physics and techniques of magnetic phenomena, medicine and medical techniques, optical and microelectronics, the theory of oil extraction, organic and physical chemistry, development of technology for composite materials, etc. The subjects of studies are traditionally associated with the industrial profile of the Republic. There exist many investment-promising projects.
The Republic of Tatarstan has been proclaimed a sovereign democratic
state in conformity with the will of its multi-ethnic people, expressed in a
national referendum and set out in 1992 Constitution adopted on the basis of
the results (61%). As regard the relationships between citizens and the state, the
Constitution gives priority to the rights of man as the highest social value.
All citizens have been guaranteed equal rights in all spheres of the political,
economic, social and cultural life.
The Constitution proclaims the rule of law and the independence of the legislative, executive and judicial authorities. Tatar and Russian are national languages. Tatarstan repudiates violence and war as the means for settling disputes between people and states. The Republic has declared its territory free from weapons of mass destruction.
The Constitution reads that the land, the bowels of the earth, waters, forest and other natural resources, the assets of the State Bank, cultural and historical values and other property belong to the people of the Republic of Tatarstan. According to the Constitution, its economy rests on social market relations; the Constitution permits different forms of ownership, which are proclaimed inviolable. The Republic of Tatarstan admits and recognises the property of other states, international organisations, foreign legal persons and persons without citizenship. The land may be privately owned and used in any sphere of activity not forbidden by legislation.
Conventional long form: Republic of Tatarstan
Conventional short form: Tatarstan
Local long form: Respoublika Tatarstan
Local short form: Tatarstan
TYPE: republican parliamentary democracy
43 districts - Agryzsky, Aznakaevsky, Aksubayevsky, Aktanyshsky, Alekseyevsky, Alkeyevsky, Almetyevsky, Apastovsky, Arsky, Atninsky, Bavlinsky, Baltasinsky, Bougoulminsky, Bouinsky, Cheremshansky, Chistopolsky, Drozhanovsky, Kamsko-Ustyensky, Koukmorsky, Kaybizky, Laishevsky, Leninogorsky, Mamadyshevsky, Mendeleyevsky, Menzelinsky, Mouslumovsky, Nizhnekamsky, Novosheshminsky, Oktyabrsky, Pestrechinsky, Rybno-Slobodsky, Sabinsky, Sarmanovsky, Spassky, Tetyussky, Toukayevsky, Tuylyachinsky, Verhneuslonsky, Vysokogorsky, Yelabouzhsky, Yutazinsky, Zainsky, Zelenodolsky
STATE SOVEREIGNTY: 30 August 1990
NATIONAL HOLIDAY: Anniversary of the Declaration of the Republic, 30 August (1990)
CONSTITUTION: 6 November 1991
LEGAL SYSTEM: based on civil law system
SUFFRAGE: 18 years of age
Curban Bairam is also considered to be a holiday; the date of this festival
is calculated according to the Lunar Calendar and, for this reason, it has no permanent date.
Tatarstan is one of the most economically developed republics of the former
USSR. It has powerful industrial potential and stable agricultural sector.
Three industrial regions are distinguished in the territory of Tatarstan:
Old industrial Northwest region, the base of which is the Kazan - Zelenodolsk
agglomeration. Major industries of the region are machine-building, chemical
and light industry.
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