100,000 Circassians To Return To Motherland?

The revolutions in the Arab states were focused several times on the Circassian People in those countries and as a result they had brought back again the Circassian issue to the international level.

First it was the revolution in Libya that brought the Circassians to news, when Gaddafi’s regime tried to influence the Circassian community in Jordan to persuade their brothers in Libya to switch sides and support him. An attempt that was nothing more than a miserable failure (www.circassianews.com ).

Meanwhile Russia saw an opportunity and made her move, using pro-Russian Circassian, but Russia’s intentions were kristal clear and it was obvious who was behind that initiative (http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=37779).

Lately, the “hot spot” is in Syria and we have read about the call of few Circassians from Syria for help with the intention to leave Syria and return to the motherland (http://justicefornorthcaucasus.info/?p=1251659075 ).

Unlike other cases, the situation of the Circassian Diaspora living in Syria was mentioned quite a lot and a concern to the future of Circassian Diaspora in Syria was made by many organization and individuals. But it lacked the need to address the issue from the poiont of view of the Circassians themselves as a nation that has the right for self-determination. (http://www.elot.ru/main/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2422&Itemid=1 ).

Although the call for assistance were signed only by few members of the Circassian Diaspora in Syria, it is essential to understand that it is not realistic to demand a letter signed by thousands and we can understand that most of the Circassian in Syria need this kind of help. That is why a response like – They may settle one street of the village of Mafe-Khable in Adygea – in is not acceptable and it is clearly just an attempt to gain popularity and publicity on behalf others (http://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/19523/  ).

Of all those who referred to this issue, maybe the most relevant one that is missing is the official response of Russia. True, the leaders of the Republics did refer to it having sympathetic approach but with no real guaranties (http://natpress.net/index.php?newsid=8170 ).

Moreover, in most of the responses, the case of the repatriates from Kosovo were mentioned as a similar case. That small community was caught in a state of war in 1998 and several hundreds of them were able to return to their motherland and settled in the village of “Mafa-Habla”. All talked about the great success of the example mentioned but surprisingly (or not) forgot to tell the readers that the repatriates are still having difficulties and that the process of their settling is not over yet. (http://natpress.net/index.php?newsid=8238 )


Although the analogy was made, clearly these two cases are not alike and there are few differences between them. The most important (and obvious) difference is the size of the population in stake. While in the Kosovo’s case there were only few hundreds, the estimations of the Syrian Diaspora are over 100,000 Circassians.(http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=38830 )

The presidents (or by their new title – “heads”) of the partially Circassian Republics in Russia have referred to this issue but saying only what is allowed to say in Russia nowadays. (http://sk-news.ru/news/authority/15448/ )

So we will say it instead, what Russia should really do is to insure safe return of all the 100,000 Circassian living in Syria back to their motherland (actually, the right and human thing that Russia is obligated to do is to give back Circassia to more then 5 milion of the Circassians spread worldwide), handing them a proper accommodation, develop the area so all repatriates will be able to find work, allowing everyone to choose where to settle and live as free people in their land (something that is also needed for the Circassians who already live in occupied Circassia today).
No doubt, Russia will not play along with this kind of move for several reasons:

1.      Economy.  The economic situation is not making it possible for Russia to handle such numbers of repatriates (especially not Russian) and more so because of the enormous budget spent on the Olympic Genocide in Sochi, which is criticized within Russia.

2.      Image.  Such an action will be understood as taking responsibility for past acts – The Genocide – Which Russia consistently ignores and denies.

3.      Ideology. The whole idea is a contradictory to the leading principle of the Russian leadership which is “a Caucasus without Caucasians”.

4.      Sochi.  The Olympics are very important and problematic for the Russian leadership, which is why they are trying to hide all sensitive issues concerning it. One way to do it is by covering the tracks of native Circassians and by rewriting the history of the area. So bringing back Circassians to their homeland (even if not to Sochi itself) will bring up again the “Circassian Question” on stage and harm their objective.

Unlike the Kosovo case, this time Russia won’t hear any applause for helping few Circassians for two main reasons:

1.      The Circassian Diaspora in Syria is there as a direct result of Russia’s past actions.

2.      Russia’s responsibilities are to rebuilt Circassia and bring back all the descendants of the Circassians exiled in the course of the genocide.
Doing just 0.03% (1500 out of the 5 Million Circassians in Diaspora) of what you have to do is not enough by any standard!


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