Monthly Archives: June 2013

Circassians march for recognition of ‘genocide’

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Thousands of people gather in Taksim Square and march to the Consulate of the Russian Federation to mark the 148th anniversary of the Circassian’s deportation from Russia, which they believe is genocide.
Circassians march through İstiklal Avenue, carrying tombstones with the date May 21, 1864 on them. The protestors, who marched to the Russian Consulate in Istanbul yesterday demanded that the ‘Circassian genocide’ be recognized by the world. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK
Citizens of Caucasian origin gathered at Taksim Square in Istanbul yesterday and marched to the Russian Federation’s Istanbul Consulate, protesting the Circassian deportation and commemorating those who died in the “genocide” they claim Russia committed. The protestors demanded that the “Circassian genocide” be recognized by the world.

A group of about 3,000 people gathered around Taksim Square and marched to the Istanbul Consulate of the Russian Federation carrying placards and chanting slogans. Protestors chanted “Murderer Russia, get out of Caucasia” and “May 21 is the day of resistance.” The group also opened a placard that read, “We will not allow the genocide and the exile to be forgotten.”

They also issued a press statement in front of the consulate.

Strict safety measures were seen around the Russian Consulate due to the march, to avoid further complicating the already tense situation. The Russian Embassy in Ankara protested on May 18 a conference on the state of affairs in the Caucasus held by the Istanbul Municipality, where it argued that statements by some participants called for terrorist attacks.

“This kind of hospitality toward those who openly support terrorist activities in Russian territories is casting a shadow on the positive climate of the Russian-Turkish relationship, and is not befitting the level of partnership that our countries have reached,” a written statement issued by the Russian Embassy in Ankara said. The embassy’s statement referred to two separate conferences, organized by the Istanbul Municipality and Fatih Municipality respectively last week, in which current developments in the Caucasus were discussed with very harsh language regarding Moscow.

Spokesperson for the protestors, Jankat Acı, said in front of the Russian Consulate in Istanbul that May 21, 1864, was the symbolic date of the genocide that brought the Circassians to the brink of extinction and that lead Caucasia to disaster. Acı said hundreds of thousands of Circassians were massacred in the genocide that occurred during Czar-era Russia’s invasion campaign of Caucasia. Acı also said 90 percent of the survivors were sent to exile. Those who are standing up against Russia after 148 years were the children of the generation of Circassians and other Caucasians who were exiled after surviving the genocide, Acı said.

Acı said they were full of rage “because the capital of Circassia, the symbol city of the genocide, Sochi, will be used for the Winter Olympics in 2014. It is also being used by Russia as a tool to distort historical facts. Russia is promoting Sochi as a Russian city. It continues persistently in its campaign to conceal the Circassian identity of the city, its history and the genocide.”

May 21 was a day of resistance and revival, Acı said. He demanded that the world acknowledge the Circassian genocide. “We call on each country in the world, on the Russia Federation which has inherited the heritage of the genocide; we address the national and international public: Recognize the Circassian genocide.”

Although actual Circassians constitute only one of the ethnic groups coming from the North Caucasus region in present-day Russia, all the peoples who originated from that area are generally referred to collectively as “Circassians” in Turkey. Many Circassians were forced to abandon their native homelands when Czarist Russia conquered the region in the 19th century. Most of the Circassians who fled resettled in Ottoman Turkey.

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Georgia Recognizes Russian ‘Genocide’ Of Ethnic Circassians

May 20, 2011

Lawmakers in Georgia have recognized the mass deportation and killings of ethnic Circassians by Tsarist Russia in the 19th century as genocide.

Parliament said on May 20 that ethnic cleansing and pre-planned massacres of Muslim Circassians had taken place in the Sochi area of southern Russia.

The Russian army deported the Circassian tribes to Turkey after winning a war in the Caucasus that ended 147 years ago on Saturday.

“The majority of Circassians perished and the rest had no alternative but to flee the country,” said Nugzar Tsiklauri, the head of a Georgian parliamentary committee for relations with diasporas.

“Just a small part of the population stayed in Russia and as a result a number of ethnic groups disappeared from the world arena. Thus, actions undertaken by the Russian Empire could be classified as genocide and ethnic cleansing.”

The move has been welcomed by members of the Circassian diaspora.

“Today is a very significant day for all Circassians inside the Caucasus and outside the Caucasus,” Iyad Youjahar from the Circassian diaspora in the United States told Reuters.

“This is the day when the crimes against the Circassians for the past 140 years have started to stop. And we have hopes that, from today on, we will continue positively in the future and we will continue constructing and reconstructing our nation Circassia in the Caucasus.”

Nonetheless, there were dissident voices who questioned the wisdom of the decision, which some say could strain Georgia’s relations with its neighbor, Russia, which have yet to recover from a brief war in 2008 over the Moscow-backed separatist provice of Southern Ossetia.

“To put it mildly, the decision was made hastily,” said opposition politician, Jondi Bagaturia.

“I think the political context of this decision has also not been taken into account — political implications both externally and internally — and no threats that can follow this decision have been considered either.”

Georgia is the first country to recognize the events in question as genocide.

compiled from agency reports

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Georgia Says Russia Committed Genocide in 19th Century

Georgia Says Russia Committed Genocide in 19th Century
Published: May 20, 2011

TBILISI, Georgia — The Georgian Parliament voted Friday to recognize the 19th-century killings and deportations of ethnic Circassians by czarist Russia as genocide, a move that is likely to inflame tensions between the two countries. Continue reading

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by Stephen D. SHENFIELD

Was It Genocide?
Did the Russian conquest and deportation of the Circassians constitute the deliberate genocide of a people, or was it ‘only’ a case of ethnic cleansing carried out with brutal disregard to human suffering? My approach to this difficult question firstly involves examining the background of previous and concurrent Russian treatment of newly concuered peoples. Had the Russian empire already perpetrated, or was it perpetrating, genocide in other places, outside the Caucasus? Secondly, I consider the attitude of the nineteenth-century Russian political and military elite towards the Circassians. Had the possibility of genocide been contemplated as a solution to the problem posed by the Circassians’ resistance to conquest? Or, to use the phrase made famous by Norman Cohn, was there ‘a warrant for genocide’? [17]

And thirdly, why was the decision taken in favour of deportation? What was the thinking of the Tsar and his advisers that underlay this decision? Does it appear likely that their real purpose was genocide? On this score it should suffice to consider two other important examples of Russia’s relations with newly conquered peoples: the conquest of the native peoples of Siberia in the seventeenth century, and the incorporation of the Kazakh nomads in the nineteenth century.[18] This latter process reached completion at about the same time as the conquest of Circassia (1864). Continue reading

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Krasnaya Polyana Genocide1864

The bitter reality and continued repercussions created and sustained by imperialist arrogance and stubbornness of Tsarist Russian Empire and the successive Russian regimes regardless of the description, title or form of government, which ruled Russia and more than 80 peoples of different origins since acquisition of the land of others had been and still the “laws and rules of the land”. Based on atrocities and crimes that were committed against the vast majority of the Circassian nation which had included and not limited to genocide, ethnic cleansing and forced deportation, a group of activists have decided to establish the “Kresnaya Polyana Genocide1864” Website to shed the light on the intended 2014 Sochi Olympic Games that is planned to be held in Sochi (mild climate area), and its immediate vicinity particularly in Krasnaya Polyana which means the Red Hill due to the blood of victims who perished when the invading imperialist Tsarist Russian forces fought their way to conquer the region.

Right words intended to void since presenting political initiative of the Russian State public relations par excellence in the form of Olympic Games that is only focused on flipping over and altering the facts of the premeditated intention to overlook the blood and the legitimate rights of victims and innocent people.
“Kresnaya Polyana Genocide1864” Group appeals to the civilized world and worldwide Human Rights organizations and associations to address the human consciousness to define the separation lines between crime and human harmony, while demanding to apply rules of the “International Law”, the “United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples” and “European Convention on Human Rights”.

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