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06 April 2019, 10:35

Activists tell on value of Turkish elections for Circassians

According to the outcomes of elections in Turkey, Circassians traditionally retained their representation in bodies of power, said Asker Sokht, a deputy head of the "Adyge Khase" organization of the Krasnodar Territory. Most of the Circassian organizations in Turkey are aimed at expanding ties with Northern Caucasus, said Georgy Chochiev, a sociologist. Without an influential lobby, Circassians will not be able to seriously advance their interests, says Aleko Kvakhadze, a researcher at the Rondeli Foundation.

"For the first time, activists of Circassian NGOs in Istanbul tried to join a political party and take part in municipal elections," said Asker Sokht.

Aslan Beshto, the chairman of the "Kabardian Congress" movement, believes that Circassians in Turkey are politically very passive. According to his version, among Circassians of Turkey there is a demand for demonstration of their nationality.

In the opinion of Georgy Chochiev, a historian, the Circassian factor in the social and political life of Turkey began manifesting itself shortly after the mass migration of Circassians and other nationals from Northern Caucasus to the Ottoman Empire after the Caucasian War.

"Today, their descendants are an integral part of the Turkish people and, at best, they remember the Circassian origin of one of the parents," the historian has added.

As noted by Aleko Kvakhadze, a scientist, there are influential Circassians in Turkey, but there is no Circassian lobby. He does not expect new projects related to the intensification of contacts with their historic homeland.

The Circassian factor in Turkey is socio-cultural in nature, according to Denis Sokolov, a sociologist. Any Circassians' political projects are oriented towards Northern Caucasus, he has noted.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 6, 2019 at 05:51 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Gor Alexanyan, Magime; Source: CK correspondents

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