The Cultural and Political Claims of the Caucasian Minorities in Turkey
More than in the previous years, in 2019 the organisations and the social media groups of the Turkish citizens who are fully or partly descendants of Caucasian refugees looked active not only around 21 May, their “genocide commemoration” day, but also around 2 May, remembering the 2 May 1923, when the Kemalist government deported Eastwards many Circassian villages located in Western Anatolia. In sum, we are witnessing that now the “Circassians of Turkey” (a term which generally includes North-Eastern Caucasians like Chechens and South-Eastern Caucasians like Abkhazians) are struggling not only for a worldwide recognition of the “Circassian genocide”, but also for an open debate on what has meant and means being “Circassian” in the Republic. This paper tries to draw an updated picture of what is up within Circassian intelligencija and what Caucasians of Turkish nationality are aiming at.
Keywords: Identity • Political Debate • Abkhazians • Turkey • Circassians