SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Hundreds of activists of the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic organization have rallied in the city of Simferopol in Ukraine’s Crimea.Some 1,500 demonstrators gathered to mark the 89th anniversary of the collapse of the Ottoman Caliphate.The Ottoman Caliphate officially ceased to exist in 1924 after secular authorities in Turkey separated religion from state.
Crimea’s Prime Minister Anatolyy Mohylyov told RFE/RL that the organizers of the unsanctioned gathering will face administrative punishment.
He added, though, that his government cannot ban Hizb ut-Tahrir because such decisions can be made by the country’s parliament only.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is a London-based Sunni political organization that seeks to unite Muslim countries into an Islamic caliphate.
Some former Soviet republics have banned Hizb ut-Tahrir, branding its supporters as “extremists.”