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The Genoese Fortress in Caffa
The Genoese Fortress in Caffa
Matthias Heine

BERLIN — Over the past week, the term “original inhabitants” has been used repeatedly to characterize Crimean Tatars, who seem to be the only inhabitants of the peninsula who don’t see a home for themselves in Russia.

“The original inhabitants since the late Middle Ages were the Tatars,” a serious historian and professor of East European history said the other day during an interview with Deutschland Radio. But clearly noticing that he had entered a semantic minefield, he then clarified himself. “Before them, there were other original inhabitants.” He mentioned the people of Iphigenies Tauris, as Crimea was called in classical antiquity, as well as the Genoese traders who founded the Crimean city of Caffa.

The dictionary defines “original inhabitants” as “members of the original population;” and “original population” as “the first, native population of a place.” That certainly doesn’t describe the Crimean Tartars, who arrived on the peninsula in the late Middle Ages after the Mongol attacks in Eastern Europe.

The only “indigenous” Europeans

There are only two ethnicities in Europe that could be considered “indigenous.” The Sami (previously called the Lapp) in the extreme north and the Basques. Germanic people are not indigenous to Germany. They are, like all other ethnic groups who speak Indo-European languages, descendants of the Indo-Europeans who spread out to the East, West and South from the region just north of the Black Sea in waves between 4400 and 2200 BCE.

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Mariateresa Fichele

"Dottoré, I know you’re going to say I’m superstitious and strange, you always give rational answers ... but I have to ask you a question: Is it true that ever since our stadium was renamed after Maradona, Napoli doesn't win at home anymore?"

"So?"

"Could it be that Saint Paul, to whom the stadium was initially dedicated, got offended and is making us lose now?"

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