Elvira Sarihalil performed alongside Jamala at a concert last week organised to celebrate Crimean Tatar talent in Ukraine.

Elvira who represented Crimea at the Turkvision Song Contest performed alongside Eurovision Song Contest 2016 winner Jamala at a concert last week in Kyiv. Elvira who is the only artist to have represented Crimea at Turkvision whilst the region was not annexed by Russia, was one of a number of singers to perform at “Vatan sesi” (Call of the Motherland).

The contest according to Ukrainian media reports saw performers from Crimea travel to Kyiv to perform, this however lead to threats from the Russian security services towards those performers who travelled to Ukraine.

“Vatan sesi” was organised by the Ukraine based Crimean Tatar channel ATR Television. The head of the television channel stressed the importance of the event in enabling the Crimean Tatar community to be heard around the world. The concert saw an emotional plea from Eurovision winner Jamala to the audience and viewers around the world, saying that:

We must be dreamers of the same goals now. You should wake up thinking that what you can do is make your family, your people, your country comfortable. We must not struggle to imagine, to act, to achieve! We will return to Crimea, we will be there! 

Since Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine the region has continued to participate in the Turkvision Song Contest. At this years contest in Turkey, the region has selected Alseyda to represent them. The singer won the Crimean selection process last month beating off competition from a number of Crimean Tatar artists from both within Crimea but also across the Russian Federation.

Source: Ukranews, Avdet, QHA

The Turkvision Song Contest was first held in 2013 in the Turkish city of Eskisehir. The contest which is open to Turkic nations and regions such as Turkey, Kazakhstan and Yakutia. The contest follows a similar format to the Eurovision Song Contest, with songs limited to being 4 minutes long. To date Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have won the contest.