Despite the 158 years that have passed, May 21 continues

WALL – The Federation of Caucasian Associations will gather at Yenikapı Meeting Ground on May 21, 2022 to commemorate May 21 and share the historical injustices suffered by Circassians with Turkish and world audiences.

The Federation also issued a statement on the 21 May Circassian genocide and exile. In the statement, “The history symbolized by May 21 is the history of genocide, which is the symbol of a people’s attempt to be erased from the stage of history. there is no one who understands it, there is no one who is responsible, there is no one who is responsible, it is almost a fact of genocide that has been forgotten or wanted to be forgotten.” he said.

The published statement is as follows:

“May 21, 1864 is the date when the Caucasian-Russian wars, which lasted 101 years, were declared over and the last war was fought in the Kbaada valley, which lies within the borders of present-day Sochi. Circassians and all the peoples of the North Caucasus is a simple chronological information that indicates the end of the wars that lasted 101 years. The history symbolized by the 21st of May is the history of genocide, which is the symbol of wanting to erase a people from the stage of the story.

May 21 is Genocide Day.

As a history of colonialism and expansionism, Russia wanted to expand the empire’s southern borders by dominating the North Caucasus and sought to enslave and subordinate all peoples in the region, including the North Caucasians. It was trying to keep the North Caucasus under economic embargo with moves like purpose-built castles, the colonization of the steppes, and the rise of Kazakh and Russian settlers. These initiatives created an enormous geography of isolation, closing off all trade routes for the peoples of the region, especially the Circassians, including the Black Sea, and paving the way for famine and epidemics. The main objective of Russian tsarism, which terrorized the region with this military and political repression, was to break the Circassians’ will and determination to fight.

Despite all this, the peoples of Circassia and the Caucasus, whose determination and will to fight could not be broken, continued to defend their homeland and resist inhuman occupation and genocide until the last moment. The purpose of Russian tsarism was embodied in the memoirs of a Russian officer: “We need Circassia, not Circassians.”

Dear members of the press,

There is a witness to this genocide, nobody recognizes it, there is a narrator, there is no one who understands it, there is no one responsible, there is no one who undertakes it, there is a fact of genocide that has been forgotten or sought to be forgotten. As if 2 million Circassians were exiled in 1864, both the perpetrator and the observer are deaf and blind. However, the descendants of the genocide are still alive and once again want to shout out loud to the whole world: THIS IS GENOCIDE!

May 21 is the day of resistance.

At the time of May 21, 1864, when the last resistance unit of the Circassians was killed in Sochi, Kbaada valley (Krasnaya Polyana, as the Russians called it), a settlement of Ahçıpssa, the Circassians lost the war against the huge war Russian machine, the war left its place in exile, but the genocide continued. It is estimated that at least 625,000 people have lost their lives as a result of epidemics and epidemics. Although we do not have exact numbers, about 1-1.5 million of them exiled to the Ottoman Empire and today try to maintain their existence in different countries in different geographies of the world. On the one hand, the struggle for survival awaited, on the other hand, the struggle to maintain their identity, language and culture. This struggle resulted in serious erosions and even disappearances in identity and culture, with the devastating effect of assimilationist and denialist nation-state policies. he had brought. The most obvious example of this is Ubykh, a language that disappeared in the lands of exile and is proof that exile and genocide continue.

As a result of 101 years of massacres, North Caucasians, especially Circassians, were driven from their homeland, but the fire of their homeland kept burning in their hearts. May 21 Circassian Genocide and Exile is not a commemoration of a war that has ended. By legal definition, it is a perpetual crime whose perpetrator, victim and effects continue to this day. The Russian Federation, which claims and proves that it is the continuation of the Russian Empire in every respect, in terms of its approach to the peoples of the region, its state policies and symbols, is the current recipient of this genocide. The persecution, which did not end on May 21, 1864, continued with the genocide of many peoples, including Chechens, Ingush, Tatars, Karachay, Balkar, and expulsion to Siberia in 1944 during World War II, and resulted in the Chechen Wars. in the chaotic environment of the 1990s. Today, it was the same policies, the same expansionism and the same security perspective that made more than 5 million civilians refugees in Ukraine right next to our homeland.

Dear Members of the Press,

Despite the 158 years that have passed, we affirm and believe that May 21 continues.

In accordance with this understanding, we are meeting at the Yenikapı Meeting Area on May 21, 2022 at 4:00 pm to commemorate May 21, to share the historical injustices suffered by Circassians with Turkish and world public opinion, to ask for the international law, and appeal to the conscience of humanity. Our call is to all peoples of the world who have conscience, our call is to those who want to hear our problems.

This year, we will be in Yenikapı on May 21 to be able to say in a loud and persistent voice: “THIS NAME IS GENOCIDE”.

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