THE IDEA OF UNITED CIRCASSIA
All the Circassians of the world had to face a reality that no one could deny, with the experience of living in Circassia under Russian rule and living in exile in different countries for 159 years. This is the fact that even the Circassians living in the most democratic country face great problems in preserving their mother tongue, culture, and identity.
On the other hand, the antidemocratic and inhuman practices of the Russian Federation (RF), which tries to use each opportunity to destroy the Circassian identity and the values of the Circassian culture, puts Circassians and Circassia under pressure. Additionally, RF is advancing rapidly towards unitization despite being a federation. These are making the harsh reality clearer.
In the homeland of Circassia, due to the pressure and destruction policy implemented by Russia; It has become a crime to talk about the rights and interests of the Circassians, to criticize the practices of the Russian state and to try to protect the shrinking social life of the Circassians.
In this atmosphere, Circassians are insufficient in expressing their problems and reaching solutions. Even though it is expected to voice the problems of the people and influence the state in this way in accordance with the logic of the non-governmental organization, International Circassian Association (ICA-Международная черкесская ассоциация), which tries to suppress the people according to the policies of the Russian state, ignores the real problems of the people and takes an oath of allegiance to Russian interests at every opportunity. Because of the ICA and its followers, the Circassian nation is forced to accept all kinds of disasters that happen to it.
Although the situation in the diaspora may differ according to the countries, it is becoming more and more difficult to protect the Circassian identity in these countries as well. Belonging to the Circassian identity and culture is getting weaker with each generation due to problems such as constantly interacting with different cultures, not being able to find opportunity for education in the mother tongue, the narrowing of the usage area of the mother tongue and foreign marriages. So much so that many people today feel they have to hide that they are Circassian. Although it varies according to the country they live in, there are people who do not speak Circassian even though they know it and do not teach their children, under the disturbing influence of nationalist movements, and the number of these people is not small.
There are many expressions criticizing the Circassians, comparing them with the big countries that have many resources and opportunities today and whose past is full of imperial examples, that the Circassians could not fully become a nation, that they showed a tribal society characteristic, that they could never unite in the history, and that they could not establish a state organization. Although these criticisms based on certain stereotypes seem to be justified, when we broaden our perspective, it can be easily understood that these stereotypes are not a prerequisite for nationalization and social order. The Circassians did not have a state, but they had a social system based on Khabze, which regulated relations between people, and also influenced all other nations. From family roles to status in society, everything was clear and distinct. Disputes could be resolved without the need for the police or the prison. Despite the claim that the Circassians could not form a unity, it is a matter expressed by western writers that the customs, traditions and social habits are permanently adopted in all of Circassia. If it can be observed that there are the same customs in Eastern and Western Circassia, and that even today's Circassians, who are scattered all over the world, have the same basic values and feelings, the claim of "Circassians could not create unity" is need to be discussed again. Many historians and travelers mention the Circassians have common understanding and traditions as well as being capable to organize large groups to defend their home. In this context, it should be taken into account that the conflicts and crisis seen among the Circassians in history might also be seen in other societies that are accepted as a nation with today's knowledge.
The Circassians did not have a regular army, but the only nation that managed to resist for 101 years uninterruptedly against the invading Russian army, which swallowed and destroyed almost every state and army it encountered in a short time. In this manner, Circassians were unique nation who caused Russian army to experience defeats they had never experienced before. The Circassians, who were criticized for showing the characteristics of a tribal society, had protocol rules that could not be seen even in the civilized nations of their time, and in this regard, the admiration expressed by many travelers and state officials who traveled to Circassia took its place in the historical records.
Circassians were the second most powerful dynasty by gaining a position above the boyars in Tsarist Russia. Additionally, they have succeeded in taking over the state administration in Egypt where they went as Mamluks, and thus served the holiest places of Islam, including the Hejaz region, for more than 120 years. Khans and mirzas of Crimea and Astrakhan were sending their children to Circassian families for the purpose of education. Circassians were holding high positions in both the civil and military bureaucracy in the Ottoman and Iranian palaces, and succeeding in obtaining privileged positions in countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Israel. Is there any other nation who keeps exceptional positions while they are building relations with other societies? Circassians are unique nation, who has constantly won the praise and appreciation of both the societies it enters and the foreigners who come among them. It is possible to despise Circassians only through ignorance or prejudices.
For these reasons, behaviors such as ignoring the achievements of the Circassian Nation in the historical periods, thinking that it is always helpless by considering only the pain it has experienced, and belittlement because it could not have an independent and strong state might cause selfconfidence problems among the Circassians. Such behaviors might result in being dragged into an inhumane situation that amounts to denial of identity. Undoubtedly, since it is not easy for the Circassians, who live under the domination of different cultures, to learn the truths of their history and identities, they can chose to remain silent against the implicit or explicit accusations of the other nations that accepted as the main element of the society. Understanding and interpreting this psychological state correctly is essential for Circassians as well as unitary state administrators.
In the current situation, the option of Circassians to return to their homeland, Circassia, is also subject to extremely difficult conditions. People who carry all their savings to Circassia by fulfilling the very difficult legal conditions can also be exiled from Circassia again arbitrarily and without legal basis.
Based on these facts, the only option that emerged as a solution for the survival of the Circassians is to have an independent state in their homeland, Circassia. As stated before, 159 years of life practice scattered in different countries has made it clear that the prerequisite for the preservation of language, culture and identity is independence.
For these reasons;
The priority must be independence for those who have concerns about the Circassian language!
The priority must be independence for those who have concerns about keeping the Circassian culture alive!
The priority must be independence for those who have concerns about the survival of Khabze!
The priority must be independence for those who have concerns about the preservation of the Circassian identity.
The independence of Circassia and the Circassians should be seen as a common goal for all Circassians. Anyone who claims that all these values and Circassia can be protected by living under the sovereignty of another nation is either deceiving their people for their own benefit or is not really concerned about these values and Circassia. The sincerity of any Circassian who does not take a stand for independence even though he seems to be the defender of all these values, should not be trusted, and their opinions and words should not be regarded.
With an independent state, Circassians, will be able to open schools that provide education in their mother tongue, they will not be forced to learn different languages, they will be able to live with the very rich and talented Circassian language. In addition, they will not be forced to be known with an ethnic identity different from the Circassian identity or to live according to the customs of different cultures, and they will not feel obliged to explain or self-criticize anyone on Circassian culture.
There are undoubtedly important explanations for emphasizing the expression "united" as well as the aim of an independent Circassia. First of all, it is not possible for the Circassians, who are forced to live as divided into different political units under the rule of Russia, being together, finding solutions to their common problems, and acting together in the face of threats. It must be taken into account that the dispersed political structure in Circassia will have a significant impact on the decomposition of the Circassian nation.
It can be asserted that the existing political units within the Russian Federation, which is trying to transform its federal structure in the direction of nationalization, may lose their autonomous structure over time and completely lose their limited rights. Solving the problems of Circassia and the Circassians, being prepared for external threats, securing its independence and future can only be possible with the formation of a unified and independent state structure. All Circassians on the historical Circassian lands will be able to preserve their existence if they are one body. Therefore, with the idea of United Circassia; It is emphasized that in order to preserve the Circassian culture, language and identity, the entire historical Circassia lands should be governed by the Circassian Nation under an independent state structure.
In addition, Circassians, who have to live as small communities in dozens of different countries, undoubtedly have rights and hopes on their homeland, Circassia. It may not be possible for all Circassians living in the Diaspora to return to Circassia. However, the rights of those who are unable to return need to be protected. In addition, diaspora Circassians who can return will make significant contributions to the homeland of Circassia. In case of the establishment of a United Circassia, it will be able to make interstate initiatives in order to protect the legal rights and interests of the Circassians living in diaspora through diplomatic relations with other countries as a sovereign state.
In the light of all these explanations; in order to secure the future, rights and interests of the Circassians and Circassia, to be protected from the effects of the assimilation and open attacks of the imperial powers, to regain the prestige and functionality of the Circassian language, culture and identity, and to ensure that all citizens of the homeland and diaspora live in cooperation and solidarity can only be realized in line with the ideal of a united Circassia.
It should not be forgotten that the preservation of the values of the Circassians will only be possible with the efforts of the children of the Circassian Nation.