Anton Chekhov, a classic of Russian and world literature, lived for a long time in the village of Outka, where his neighbours were mainly Crimean Tatars. It is known that a local mullah often came to visit the writer. And the Crimean Tatar Mustafa Nuri, having learned that the writer had settled in Yalta due to pulmonary tuberculosis, regularly brought him koumiss in clay jugs.
Chekhov himself also often visited Mustafa Nuri. “Anton Pavlovich sat near him at the most honourable place, drank coffee and questioned in such detail about everything as if he were Nuri’s first friend,” said one of the witnesses of these meetings.
It is known that Chekhov took a personal part in organising the Crimean Tatar school in the village of Mukhalatka. And even acquired for it on his own money writing instruments and 256 textbooks (those, by the way, Ismail Gasprinsky himself sent him from Bakhchisarai).
And Chekhov, according to the Yalta local historian Gennady Shalyugin, had a cane made by Crimean Tatar artisans. It was a skillfully bent and polished dogwood branch with a copper tip, delicate ornamentation and a pyrography pattern in shape of cliffs of Simeiz. The writer often used this cane when leaving home for a walk.
The writer became so friendly with the Crimean Tatars and imbued with their culture that he once jokingly wrote to his Moscow friend: “I converted to the Mohammedan faith and have already been assigned to the Tatars of the village of Outka near Yalta … Osman Chekhov.”