The Circassian Memorial Day, Loyalty Day to Circassia

The Circassian Memorial Day, Loyalty Day to Circassia

May 21 2022

Adel Bashqawi

21 May, 2022


The Circassian Nation: One of the indigenous nations of the Caucasus whose homeland is located in the Northwestern Caucasus in Southeastern Europe, on the Northeastern coast of the Black Sea, for over five thousand years. The Adygha Circassians belong to one origin and have their own language and culture stemming from a deep-rooted human civilization with a solid historical heritage, and friendly relations with ancient peoples and nations such as the Hittites, Greeks, Genoese, Venice and Byzantines, no one was able to influence its principles, beliefs, and methods it chose, based on the standards of human civilization. Over the years, the Circassian homeland has been subjected to attempts by invaders, greedy and colonialists to control it, through aggressive campaigns and wars, however, the Circassians and through their exercise of their natural right to freedom and national dignity, they were able to get rid of their enemies every time by resorting to the mountains and carrying out hit-and-run operations and other acts of resistance, to eventually be able to expel or eliminate them.

The Circassian Tragedy: Occurred with the intention of controlling and subjugating Circassia, the Russian Empire declared an asymmetric warfare of aggressive war from land and sea, which extended from 1763-1864, lasting for more that 100 years, during which it aimed to subjugate Circassia at any cost, eliminating the existence of the Circassian nation. It was considered the longest war ever fought by the Russian state throughout its history, the Russo-Circassian war, and that was accompanied by an organized and misleading media war on multiple levels. This war is still considered one of the worst wars of extermination in the modern era, as a result of the tyranny and oppression policies pursued by the Russian Empire, including the scorched-earth policy of killing, extermination, deportation, mass destruction and burning of Circassian villages. Successive Russian regimes have continued the same arrogant approach that enjoys torturing others, when dealing with the Circassians and their cause, which has not been resolved so far as required.

Unsurprisingly, what happened in Ukraine recently since the twenty-fourth of February of this year regarding the invasion and occupation of Ukraine, has embodied the nature of the usual Russian policies, which many peoples and nations tasted the bitterness of their cruelty and brutality.

As the 158th anniversary of the end of the Russo-Circassian War has passed, a Panel was held in the European Parliament on the 18th of this month (May 2022), in the title of “Circassian Genocide”, hosted by the “European Conservative and Reformist Party”, with the participation of the MEP from Poland, Anna Fotyga, and pro-Circassian academic and political activists from several countries. This is reminiscent of a statement published by the former MEP from Estonia, Tunne Kelam in October 2010 on his website, which stated: “Circassians who defend their rights and cultural identity deserve the support of the European Union.” He added: “Circassians have been subjected to one of the most severe persecutions among the ethnic Caucasian nations. Since the 18th century, when the authorities of the Russian empire started massive ethnic cleansings and deportations of the native population, more than 1.5 million Circassians are estimated to have been killed. The continuation of Russian colonial policies has had a dramatic impact on today’s Circassians. Sadly, their situation has not eased in the 21st century.”

The Circassians residing in their homeland and those scattered in more than fifty countries around the world demand the implementation of inalienable international laws and norms in regard to the restoration of their legitimate rights, the recognition by the Russian state of responsibility for genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced deportation, and the exercise and implementation of the right of return and the right to self-determination. The Circassians should have the natural right to return to their homeland without restrictions. Article 1 (1) of the United Nations Charter states: “All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

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