Facts Useful to Remember
By: Adel Bashqawi
November 19, 2019
In response to my article entitled “Just an opinion” published on November 9, 2019, on Circassia Center for Studies and Research Facebook Page, I responded in regard to points mentioned, which concern the Circassian community. Due to the importance of the subject and my desire to inform those interested about the rationale of what is happening, I felt that it is worth publishing these facts. The hope of this response is not to achieve the impossible; but to articulate the input that can not be exceeded and/or disavow, because we must differentiate between only wishful thinking and inevitable result. Here, I use the wisdom that says: “Be wise enough to know that you don’t know everything.”
The following is a list of points provided in my response to the comment, I thought it is appropriate to mention and focus on them:
— “The main problem that we experience is “conceptual confusion,” not “shuffling the cards.”
—The situation of Abkhazia on the one hand and that of Circassians and Abkhaz/Abaza in Diaspora on the other hand, should not be confused with regard to coexistence and affinity among them.
— There are different designations, especially by Orientalists and researchers who do so, either knowingly or ignorantly. I read several years ago an article in the “Christian Science Monitor,” where one of the authors has described “Hadji Murad,” who is an Avar from Dagestan as a Circassian; but as long as we know the correct designation, things should be called by their names.
— I would like to point out here that the party that is interested in mixing cards is the side that “tries” to inflame feelings, because “truth has brightened while falsehood has faded”. Clarity of vision is possible for anyone who wants it through the facts on the ground and the developments over more than 155 years ago, the occupation of the last Circassian defense sites in the last Circassian capital, Sochi, and the completion of ethnic cleansing, genocide and forced deportation of the Circassian nation until today.
— It is recognized that the occupation of Circassia on May 21, 1864, was the last in the Tsarist colonial wars of the Caucasus “at the time”, where by occupying Circassia, almost the entire control was enforced over it and over Chechnya, Dagestan, Abkhazia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, other regions in the Caucasus and beyond.
— I would like to draw the attention of the respected readers that Tsarist Russia used many citizens of the nations and peoples it occupied to strengthen its war efforts and to fight on the war fronts that were ignited in the North/West Caucasus (Circassia).
— It is well known that Circassia has eluded invading forces for decades, but it became a little easier for the invading forces when Georgia was occupied in 1801, where the Southern Command of the Russian Tsarist forces was transferred to Tbilisi. It is the southeastern flank of Circassia. Georgians, as Circassians themselves, Poles and other nationalities were recruited, which were subordinated by military force. We do not forget to add the criminal Cossacks and colonial Russians who were among the ranks of the Russian forces and their mercenaries. All of this in order to overcome the Circassians who were defending their homeland.
— It should be noted here that Georgia achieved independence for less than three years (1918-1921). Georgia was able to get independence for just over two years; yet another bloody occupation was looming. “February 25 of 1921 is one of the tragic and painful dates in Georgia’s history. On this day Georgia again lost its newly gained independence that lasted less than three years. Soon after freeing itself from Russian Empire’s more than century-old rule and declaring its independence in May of 1918, Red Army invaded Georgia in February of 1921.”
— I mark “here” that Stalin came to power during the Soviet Union era, 97 years ago, not before “150 years” ago as stated in the commentary, because Stalin seized power from 1922 until his death in 1953.
— It is no secret to anyone, Abkhazia and South Ossetia were annexed under Stalin to Georgia. In 1931, Abkhazia was declared by Stalin as an autonomous republic in the name of the Abkhaz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, within the Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia. Georgia was considered one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, but not because of participation in the war.
— On May 20, 2011, the Georgian parliament unanimously recognized the Circassian Genocide, and on May 21, 2012, the Circassian Genocide and Forced Deportation Monument was inaugurated in Anaklia, Georgia on the Black Sea. Whatever the reason, matters are measured by their endings.
— I do not intend to go into confusion with concepts, however the Abkhaz Question is fundamentally different from the Circassian Question. Suffice it to say briefly that “one man’s meat is another man’s poison,” as well as, “man proposes and God disposes.”
— For those who “came to help Abkhazia to expel the Georgians from Abkhazia, with the help of Russia, where the Circassians and Abkhaz, who have given many martyrs in this war”, I cannot fail to remind of the words of Brother Ibrahim Yaganov, the leader of those who “had come” for assistance, in this regard.
— I respect the opinion of “who made the comment” in regard to what he has said: “the invitation of the Russian Attaché to the Association does not constitute any provocation”; but I don’t go any further.
— Yes, we must maintain communication between all, but within the limits that respect the rights of all, and without prejudice to the right of any party to take the path that it chooses, and without the tutelage of anyone.
— The Circassian nation has lost millions during the war of extermination and deportation until now. It has the absolute option in choosing its objectives according to peaceful methods and according to international laws and norms.
— The administration of the Circassian Charity Association and according to the statute, can decide what is useful and what is offensive to the Association and its members.