15 February 2019, 01:43

Asker Sokht tells about obstacles to naturalization of Syrian Circassians

The Circassian repatriates from Syria, who have received the right to Russian citizenship, face excessively strict demands to the knowledge of the Russian language and literature, said Asker Sokht, the chairman of the "Adyge Khase" organization in Krasnodar.

The issues of obtaining Russian citizenship by Circassians from Syria were discussed on February 13, 2019, at a meeting of repatriates with Andrei Skobchenko, the head of the Adygea Migration Department. The meeting took place in the village of Panakhes, where dozens of families of Circassian repatriates live, Mr Sokht has told in his material for the "Caucasian Knot".

Circassian refugees began arriving in Adygea and Kabardino-Balkaria in 2012, when the active phase of civil war began in Syria.

A necessary condition for obtaining Russian citizenship is the confirmed status of a native Russian speaker. Many young repatriates pass the exam successfully, but for elderly people it becomes a serious obstacle. Given that Syrian Circassians freely communicate in Russian, the commission demands from them to have "deep knowledge of Russian poetry and literature" at the level of philology applicants, Asker Sokht has pointed out.

The Migration Service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) is unable to change the demands established by the law for the proficiency level in Russian, Andrei Skobchenko told the meeting participants in Panakhes. As noted by Mr Sokht, Circassian activists had repeatedly appealed to the federal centre calling it to take into account the knowledge by repatriates of the Circassian language – the state language of three Russian regions, but these initiatives were left without support.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 14, 2019 at 07:03 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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