Circassia And Abkhazia

Circassia and Abkhazia*

By: Adel Bashqawi

The Circassian nation and civilization had existed for more than 6000 years in the Circassian homeland located in the North Caucasus as per a map entitled: “Map of Circassia and the Russian Territories North of the Kuban, newly constructed from the latest Russian Authorities, based upon astronomical observations by Director, Topographical & Statistical Depot, British War Department, 1855. This map the way other maps depict, Abkhazia is drawn and identified as a different entity. They were called Circassians by others who had dealt with them, the way the word Chechnya was used for calling Ichkeria. Even though Ingushetians share the same origin of Ichkerians, but still Ingushetia is not called Chechnya.

The Adigha Language is the closest Caucasian language to the Abkhazian language as Circassians were originated from where Abkhazians were originated. According to firm, definite and reliable information and historical facts, Circassia is different entity from Abkhazia. It is an actuality that all the nations of the Caucasus had suffered great deal (and still) and were victims of the Russian colonial expansionism and occupation that led to disastrous consequences which are still felt by millions of victims until today.

Regardless of the reality that some authors or people had portrayed all nations of the Caucasus as Circassians the way Hadji Murad (who is an Avar Daghestani) was described in an article in the Wall Street Journal in 8, March, 2008, by William Amelia revealing a letter from Leo Tolstoy to his brother Sergei as a Circassian: “He revealed this in a letter to his brother Sergei, writing that Murad “was the leading daredevil and ‘brave’ in all Circassia” the truth of the matter is that Circassia was designated as part of the North Caucasus where the known 12 Adigha main tribes had lived including the Abazins (Abazas), as it was claimed, who were related to Abkhaz people, but lived in Circassia and represented with one of the 12 stars on the Circassian flag, while Abkhazia got its own identity, nationality and flag.

It is feared that Abkhazian decision to be closer to Russia and tie itself with vital contacts and treaties with Russia would create a status of independence with empty contents, as anyone who wants to travel to Abkhazia has to get a Russian visa and suffering will not end there because getting out of Abkhazia also would make the same traveler obliged to obtain a Russian visa and exit via (Russia). It is painful and unpalatable to see Abkhazia hand in hand with Russia to support the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games that is planned to be held by Russia in the year 2014, on the land of Circassian Genocide! Utilization of available resources in Abkhazia in building Olympic facilities and the exploitation of available services and logistics automatically considers Abkhazia as part of the alignment and alliance against vital and existential interests and elements of the Circassian nation.

Independence means an independent decision and opinion of self-determination, self-governing and self sufficient without any direct or indirect foreign pressure. It was disappointing to read on Internet that Abkhazian parliamentarians had celebrated not too long ago, what they described the anniversary of 165 years of so-called Russian-Abkhazian friendship! The Abkhazian parliament also had requested Russia few years ago to recognize the genocide that had been inflicted on Abkhazians without even mentioning their brothers or friends the “Adigha Circassians” who had lost half of the nation by being subjugated to deliberate genocide and ethnic cleansing committed by Tsarist Russia in the nineteenth century, and 90% of those who remained alive after suffering of diseases, exposure to extreme and adverse weather conditions, deportation in humiliating circumstances and last but not least the toil and fatigue in new territories away from homeland. If there had been a friendship why Russia had occupied Abkhazia the way it occupied Circassia and the rest of the nations of the Caucasus? Why the majority of Circassians and Abkhazians are living in Diaspora, which is away from homeland? It seems that this kind of friendship and brotherhood is of a different style and meaning!

With deep regret, after the mysterious illness and death of the Abkhaz president, the new President of Abkhazia Aleksandr Ankuab has issued a letter dated 25, November, 2011 stating what was described as his Diaspora policy. The newly inaugurated president has requested from the Abkhazian Diaspora to distant itself from what he called “the global opposition movement” that declares the documented truth of the Circassian Genocide to the whole world and oppose the intended 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games on the “soil of genocide”; Aleksandr Ankuab added, pressed false accusations, and has used expressions for defamation and slandering against organizations and/or associations that are working throughout the world even in the Caucasus to make grievances and confiscated rights recognized and reinstated. A live example on that when a 53 years old sculptor brother from Lower Kurkuzhin, KBR in the name of Husen Koshesokov has very recently (the beginning of the month of December, 2011) won the competition of designing a monument that is devoted to the memory of victims of the Circassian Genocide. NatPress has published an interview with him that reflected the real and sincere Circassian feelings towards the crimes committed against our oppressed Circassian nation.  

“Kafkasya Forumu” in the Turkish Diaspora has published an article in 11, December, 2011, in the title of “Real Politic Brotherhood” in reply to refute the suspicious objectives of malicious claims, lies and demands that are blatantly and flagrantly pressed against Circassians with live consciousness for demanding to restore their confiscated rights. It mentioned the following paragraph: “Before that, we had declared to public opinion that we were aware of attempts to turn the Abkhazian Diaspora to Russia’s Trojan horse and that we would stand against these attempts. After this letter, written with the signature of President of Abkhazia as if representing the State of Abkhazia, we declared that we see this policy as the official policy of the State of Abkhazia and we feel as our duty to share our reply with the public opinion.” It also stated: “We, as activists that elevate our voice against 2014 Sochi Olympic Games and for the genocide fact, will not let our struggle to be moved from its origin. We will not let any state or interest group to manipulate this struggle formed with the dynamics of the Diaspora. As proved many times in the past, it will be the Circassian society that will disappoint this planned and organized campaign of Russia over institutions of Circassian society.”



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