Frontier Zones of Diaspora-Making: Circassian Organizations in Turkey

  • Lars Funch Hansen


After 150 years in relative oblivion as a scattered and forgotten people, the Circassians are now reemerging as a visible and internationally recognized ethnic group insisting on their place in the history books as well as on their contemporary rights as minority and diaspora groups in different national contexts. The Circassians—along with their historical North Caucasian homeland Circassia that was once situated between the Black Sea coast and the northern slopes of the Caucasus mountain range—were well known in the nineteenth century. Their centurylong resistance to Russian conquest and colonization was followed by the international media and supported by official as well as unofficial actors from Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire. Following their final defeat in the 1860s, the majority of Circassians went into exile in Ottoman Turkey and, today, the largest contingent of Circassians—several million—are still found in Turkey, though an increasing part of the diaspora can also be found in the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America. In the Russian North Caucasus the Circassians of today includes the Adyge, the Cherkess, and the Kabardinians, where they constitute titular-nationalities in three federal republics.1


Civil Society Ethnic Minority Global City Civil Society Action Turkish Society 
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© Jens Dahl and Esther Fihl 2013

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  • Lars Funch Hansen

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