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Dear Circassian Nation and Friends of Circassians,

Today is the 159th anniversary of the Circassian Genocide, which was systematically carried out by the Russian Empire.

Our ancestors, who resisted the imperial policies of the Russians, fought heroically for over a hundred years to protect their homeland and freedom. The Russian army, which systematically implemented the most brutal practices, finally prevailed and nearly 90 percent of our population was exiled to different geographies of the world by the Russians.

A significant part of those who were deported died as a result of disease and starvation on the way to exile. It is not possible for us, Circassians, to forget this painful page of our history.

This tragedy we have experienced is also a lesson for other nations. All nations can understand that the genocide and exile are a great crime against humanity, how painful the consequences can be, and how awful an enemy of humanity the Russians are by looking at the suffering we have experienced.

It is not possible to compensate for the suffering that Russia inflicted on us, the Circassian nation. Moreover, when we look at the secret or open actions that Russia is taking against the children of the Circassian nation today in Circassia and the diaspora, it can be clearly seen that it is still working systematically to eradicate the Circassians.

Many inhumane practices continue to be carried out recklessly by the Russians, including unsolved or suspected murders and changing the demographics of Circassia against Circassians.

Circassians living in the homeland Circassia, live a life of complete captivity today, cannot claim any political rights, and forced to submit to all kinds of oppression and injustice applied to them.

Russia suppresses not only Circassians but also countless nations, cultures and languages with very different characteristics, and strives to Russify everyone without exception. I want to draw the world's attention to the need to put an end to this madness as soon as possible.

Despite these hard truths and all kinds of challenges, we should look to the future with hope and work for the days when our nation will live away from oppression and assimilation. For this, we have to take every measure today to ensure that future generations can live freely.

In addition to these measures, we also have a historical responsibility to tell the world people about the Circassian Genocide, to explain how terrible enemies of humanity the Russians are, and to officially record these facts in the history of the world and humanity.

 Today, we need to tell the whole world that Russia is a genocidal state throughout its history, as can be clearly seen in its practices in Syria, Ukraine and Circassia.

Every individual who says "I am a Circassian" must fight for the absolute independence of Circassia and the Circassian Nation, and at the same time make an effort to explain the genocide to all people throughout the world. This is a historical responsibility we inherited from our ancestors.

In this context, as the Council of United Circassia, we recently initiated official submissions to the national parliaments for the recognition of the Circassian Genocide, with an effort in several stages. In the first stage, we made our submissions to the Council of Europe member states and the observer states: USA, Canada, Mexico, Vatican, Japan and Israeli parliaments (Click to see the countries submitted on the map!).

The Georgian Parliament recognized the Circassian Genocide in 2011. I thank the Georgian state and its people for their solidarity. We made our official application to the Ukrainian Parliament in February this year. Finally, we decided to submit to the Turkish Grand National Assembly through different channels.

In addition, we aim to establish the Circassian Genocide Awareness Commission within our Council and to explain the Circassian Genocide by using the most appropriate channels to the national parliaments of all countries of the world, except Russia, through this commission.

As the Council of United Circassia, I would like to announce that we have decided to renew our submissions in May every year until all national parliaments around the world officially recognize the Circassian Genocide.

We have many young people doing individual research on Circassian identity, national issues and the Circassian Genocide. I invite young researchers and activists who continue their individual efforts on these issues to support our commission's activities in researching and creating awareness the Circassian Genocide.

Until the day when Russia confronts its bloody history and makes an official apology to the Circassian nation and makes sincere efforts to eliminate the negative effects of genocide and exile, no one should doubt that we will use every opportunity to put the bloody past of the Russians in their faces!

On this occasion, I wish God's mercy on the souls of our ancestors who were victims of genocide and exile. I also wish that the suffering of the Circassian nation will end, and we will have the days when we will live freely in our homeland, Circassia, and I would like to thank to friends of Circassians for sharing our pain on this sad day.

Long live the Circassian Nation, long live our struggle for freedom!

Kenan Kaplan

Chairman of the Council of United Circassia

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