For the first time in the last 15 years, a mourning march to the walls of the Russian Consulate General in commemoration of the victims of the Caucasian War and the deportation of Circassians from the Caucasus has been banned in Istanbul, activists inform.
The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that Circassians mark May 21 as the Day of Remembrance and Grief; mourning marches take place on this day. On May 20, more than 300 people took part in a commemoration action held in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria; on May 21, three thousand people gathered there for a rally.
The Caucasian War, which lasted from 1763 to May 21, 1864, put the Adyg nations on the verge of extinction. After the war and the mass deportation of Adygs (Circassians) to the Ottoman Empire, no more than 50,000 of them remained in the homeland. Circassian organizations demand from Russian authorities to recognize the genocide of Circassians during the Caucasian War.
Just one and a half hours before the start of the traditional mourning march in Istanbul, its organizers were informed that the authorities did not sanction the march. They said that they were offered to move from Istiklyal Street, along which they had planned to march to the Consulate General, to a parallel lane. The traditional activists’ gathering place near the Galatasaray Lyceum in Istiklyal Street was cordoned off by police fences.
“The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) did not recommend the Istanbul authorities to sanction the Circassians’ march to the Russia’s Consulate General in Turkey, because of the complexity of bilateral relations,” one of the organizers of the march told the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 21, 2019 at 10:14 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.