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Mr. Oleg Belyi gave an overview of the history of the Karaites.

He said he was defending his dissertation at the Bakhchisarai State Institute of Historical-Cultural Preservation, and that he was very busy working in managing historiographical research at the Department of Karaite History, and that much work needed to be done.The documentary historical work is two-fold as the Karaite historian Firkovich had systematically re-written, made-up pages of history, etc,. Now the task of unravelling the tangelled past of the Karaite people is very complicated.
At the time when the Crimea was annexed by the Russian Imperial Government, the people of the Crimea, those who were historically tied to the Crimea, among them the Karaites, were made subjects of the Russian Imperial State. Historically, the government's policies towards the Karaites had been to bunch them together with the Jews, with Judaism. They were simply categorized as members of Eastern Judaica and no more was said of them. The historical legends lent themselves to the establishment of accepted literary traditions respective to the Karaites, such as that of the author Gormchakov, that depicted the Karaites in different manners. There were legends which led to the belief for instance that said that the Karaites came to be in the Crimea prior to the birth of Christ. Why was this tenet so formulated? Because, anti-semitism in Russia was not one predicated on economic grievances, but on the moral pretence that it was the Jews who gave up Jesus, the Savior to be crucified. The Karaites had settled in the Crimea prior to the birth of Christ, and therefore could not be held responsible for his death.
In the last few decades, the Karaites have developed their own traditions, there has been instilled in them a self-identity that is non-Judaic. So that the question which a Karaite is asking himself is not whether he considers himself a Jew or not. It is simply not an issue.
The Karaite sect is known to have existed since the 8th century A.D. Prior to the Karaites, some Judaic sects had rejected the Talmud. The essential facts are that the Karaites are a branch of the Judaic religion. The majority of the Karaites presently live in Israel. They consider themselves Jews. There are Karaites who consider themselves a nationality, that they are the descendants of the Khazars amd do not consider themselves Jews. Furthermore they consider that their religion is no longer Judaism, but their own. These are Karaites that have forgotten their past, that lived during the years of Soviet rule, who were practically wiped out, and now they have dreamed-up a new identity. Their written language is Hebrew. Its variation is that on the one hand it is the normal Hebrew language, but on the other it is written in Hebraic but spoken in Tatar, but called Karaite, which is similar to Tatar.
The Crimea had many rulers whose rule extended over portions of the peninsula. No one knows when the Tatars came to Chufut-Kale. The Tatars believe that they founded Chufut-Kale. Belyi believes that more than likely it was the Tatars. Chufut-Kale was founded after the arrival of the Tatars, who established trade with the Karaites, however this version is not accepted by the Karaites. The Karaites consider this an insult, they consider themselves a warrior people who had an independent principality. In the historical sources there is no mention of this. Only the Karaites themselves believe this. The historical sources say that in the 13th century, Chufut-Kale was part of the Alan (Crimean Gothia), before that it was a Byzantine fortress, and their allies the Alans and Goths held it. The Karaites made their appearance later. The tomb slabs that some believe date from an earlier time, have been found to have been tampered with in the professional opinions of the majority of noted area historians and archaeologists. The Karaites are indignant at such findings, they argue against this, and a political scandal grew out of the offer by Israeli scientists to study the cemetary crypts, an offer which the Karaites rejected because they said their own scientists could do this work. Oleg Belyi said that they do not have any people qualified to do this work, and that political motives have no place in scientific analysis.

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