Necessity to Demand Recognition of Circassian Legitimate Rights (4)

Necessity to Demand Recognition of Circassian Legitimate Rights (4)

Adel Bashqawi

5 July, 2021

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This article is No. four of five articles on creating a unified Circassian strategy. The nature of the Circassian Question calls for setting the record straight and to perform a calculated move in order to demand the world’s recognition of the legitimate Circassian rights. Knowing that there are Circassian and non-Circassian forces and influences, which are contradictory, intertwined and sometimes in reverse order to the extent of denying genocide and deportation at times, which affects the scene and thus consequently on the creation of a Circassian strategy that everyone adheres to.

— The Turkish Parliament must be asked to recognize the Circassian genocide, similar to recent demands, when “two Turkish opposition parties, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (DPN) and the Turkish Workers’ Party (EMEP) called on Ankara to recognize the Russian displacement of Circassians from their homeland in the North Caucasus at the end of the Caucasus War, in 1864 and to consider this an act of genocide.”[1]

— Knowing that the Turkish Peoples’ Democratic Party has called on Turkey and Russia several times over the past years to recognize the Circassian genocide, since its recognition by the Georgian Parliament in May 2011.[2]

— On 26 February, 2020, the Federation of Circassian Organizations in Turkey ÇERKES-FED handed a petition to the Turkish Parliament, after meeting with the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament in Ankara, demanding recognition of the genocide of the Adyghas (Circassians) perpetrated by the Russian Empire.

— On 25 March, 2020, the “Patriots of Circassia” organization demanded that the United Nations would “create appropriate conditions to consider the question of recognition of the genocide of Adyghas (Circassians) committed by the Russian Empire during and after the Russian-Caucasian War.”[3]

— It was of priority to follow up on the topic of what happened on 13 February, 2020 regarding “the justification of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Alexei Yerkov, in a deviation from the topic of his statement on the Syrian-Turkish military confrontation, regarding the actions of the Russian Empire during the Russian-Caucasian War, the denial of the extermination of the Adyghe (Circassians) and accused their contemporary descendants of having composed a {beautiful legend} about the widespread tragedy of their ancestors.”[4]

— On 21 May, 2019, the Jordan Association of Caucasus Circassian Friends reiterated, that the Circassian nation is impervious to annihilation and demise, that rights do not fall by statute of limitations and must be restored. The Circassian demands have been confirmed, being embodied by Russia’s demand for recognition of the genocide, which aimed to uproot the historical existence of the Circassian nation from its homeland, Circassia.[5]

— On 2/2/2019, the Kafkazar website published that the Circassians are counting on international recognition of them as a displaced people, during a press interview with three Circassian activists in the North Caucasus about what is happening and what the Circassians and the international community should do to avoid the situation from deteriorating.[6]

— On 27 October, 2020, human rights activist Valery Khatazhukov, who is the Circassian head of the Center for the Protection of Human Rights in Kabardino-Balkaria, said that “the Kremlin is building its relations with the North Caucasus as a metropolis with colonies.” He says, “The weakness of civil society in the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic (KBR), in addition to what I have indicated, in regard to the real centers of civil society that existed in the mid-nineties, which were neutralized by the higher authorities. But in addition to this, the situation in Russia itself affects the status of the civil society in our republic. We see that the situation is very difficult, and civil activists are being persecuted. However, civil society in Kabardino-Balkaria exists and has not gone anywhere. In confirmation of this, we can observe the events taking place in our country. Now you have mentioned Martin Kochesoko. He is a well-known public figure in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. There is a criminal case filed against him. It is clear to all observers and experts that this criminal case has been rigged.” He added that the case against Kochesoko was a “measure of intimidation”.[7]

 — On the Circassian Flag Day, on 25 April, 2020, Cem Ozdemir, one of the leaders of the German Green Party, who is of Circassian origin, said: “Circassians know how you feel if your language is illegal, and if your culture will be lost. For this reason we care. I am of Circassian origin, and the indigenous peoples of the world do not forget their rights, they don’t forget their culture, and they don’t forget their language.”[8]

— On 13, October, 2020, Cem Ozdemir said: “The Sochi Winter Olympiad was also an important occasion to signal the fate of the indigenous people. Unfortunately, the utilitarian relationship between the two governments in Moscow and Ankara and “their Circassians” made it difficult for the Circassians to be active in this situation, as the Circassian community also became involved in the extremism of others.” At the end of the interview, he added, in response to a question regarding language education and discrimination in Germany, “You should be careful not to accept Putin-Erdogan propaganda without scrutiny. Sometimes I wonder about Germany and Europe when I look at ‘Russia Today’ or at the Turkish version of ‘TRT’ for fun and curiosity.”[9]

— Ozdemir added: Both the Russian and Turkish governments, albeit for very different reasons, sought to reduce the role of the Circassians to an ethnographic curiosity, whose members celebrate their traditional dances and marriage ceremonies but abandon their common language and identity.[10]

— It is interesting to note that some parties demand rights other than the Circassian rights, and at the same time the legitimate Circassian rights are ignored. In this concept, it should be demanded that Abkhazia recognize the Circassian Genocide. Knowing that the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia passed a resolution recognizing the genocide of the Abkhaz (Abaza) committed by the Russians against the Abkhaz people. They even identified the areas where the genocide occurred more than others areas, especially the north-western part of Abkhazia — which means the direction in which refers to the area adjacent to Sochi. “The Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia issued a statement on the law on the displacement of Abkhaz (Abaza) in the nineteenth century” on 15 November, 1997. The Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia adopted a resolution recognizing the genocide and forced displacement of the Abkhaz people.[11]

— It is worth noting that the Federation of Caucasian Associations in Turkey (KAFFED) issued a statement on 2 June, 2021 regarding a press conference held during the visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia to Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and its declaration that “the words of the Turkish President made the KAFFED society sad,” as he declared his support for the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia”. Also, when he said, “I would like to reiterate our desire to resolve the conflicts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by peaceful means within the territorial integrity of Georgia.”[12]

— But what is striking in this part is that KAFFED with similar and comparable institutions and associations in the homeland and in the diaspora, including the International Circassian Association, declare and say that they do not deal with politics; but works according to the concept of public relations, cultural, artistic and social matters, while from time to time surprising situations erupt to show contradiction with this stated objective.

— Knowing that 20 May, 2021, marks the tenth anniversary of the recognition by the Georgian Parliament of the Circassian Genocide and the forcible displacement of the Circassian nation from its homeland to which it was known and belonged, as well as the nation became known by this country that has had no other homeland for thousands of years. The commemoration of this anniversary befits its importance for the outcome of the Circassian Question, especially since one of the independent republics of the Caucasus and a member of the United Nations has recognized the crimes of genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced deportation perpetrated by the armies and mercenaries of the Russian Empire against the Circassian nation, and confirms the tragedies suffered by one of the peoples of the Caucasus.[13]

To be continued…















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