Sent: 2/25/2008 10:06 AM
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ADYGEA?
In Adygea Autonomous Republics which is affiliated with the Russian Federation, Adyge face with a danger of falling in a minority position in their homeland because of the attempt of settling of particularly some ethnical groups such as Armenian and Kurdish groups who had lived in former USSR and now want to immigrate to Adygea. It is concerned that this situation which is seen as a simple immigration phenomenon can create some adverse social, political and economic results for Adyge in the future.
As known, Adygea Autonomous Republic has not yet been a perfect homeland for Adyge, its own sons. During the disintegration of the Soviet Union, there is a deep fear that Cherkess people, immigrating to Ottoman territories during a great Caucasus exile in 1864, will come back to their homeland in crowds. The disintegration of the USSR was a cause of a hope and movement for Cherkess people, but was a concern for Russians. Unlike expectations, “Adyge’s returning process to their homeland remained too weak to create a shock wave. After the USSR era, 174 from Kosovo, 120 from Syria, 35 from Jordan, 3 from Israel came back to Adygea whose total Adyge population is not more than 108.000. That is to say, the concerning thing was not happened for Russians and a total number of those who came back to their homeland from “Diaspora”, “exile geography”, did not exceed 467.
Meanwhile Kurdish families from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan began to come to Adygea Autonomous Republic since 1989. While Adyge population growth was 1 % for last decade, 10 % growth occurred in Kurdish population who got married with their relatives and with first degree close relatives. Kurds whose majority does not know language other than Kurdish language and even who are not literate created and has continued to create problems in the region from employment and education point of view. Even a great majority of them has no any country’s passport. They don’t agree with other peoples in the regions where they settled and they are known as having made separatist activities. Many of them have collected money on behalf of PKK/ Kongra-Gel, terrorist organization and involved in mafia activities. They have collected protection money from public market where sale of food and clothes is made and applied to methods to obtain income in easy ways.
Known as ignorant, uneducated, uncultured and far away from modern way of life by Adyge people, Kurds live in small houses they could rent together with 20-25 people. Kurdish people were in a cultural conflict with local people and have organized frequently meetings and demonstrations to protest Turkey and Turkish governments in some settlements. Even the local government made a decision that if Kurdish people continue to organize the meetings by carrying the poster of Abdullah Öcalan and the so-called Kurdish flags, local government will not grant Kurdish people visa and passport and also they can be exiled from the Republic.
A study on “Demographic Changes in Adygea Autonomous Republic” prepared by the State Commission of Statistics of Adygea Autonomous Republic shows that while the number of Cherkess population has decreased at an average 3 % annually, Armenian population has increased at a rate of 8 % and Kurdish population has increased at a rate of 25 % in Adygea Autonomous Republic since 1993. According to the study, if “Armenian Policy of Systematic Immigration to Caucasus” continues, ethnical clashes will be inevitable in the region. However it is not handled on the issue of future awarded to Caucasus by Kurdish and Armenian population who are increasingly growing.
Not facing with any restriction in preservation of their cultural identities and languages in the Republic, Kurdish people established even an organization entitled National-Cultural Kurdish Autonomy in 1996.
Kurdish people say that they live with other peoples under a peaceful condition. It is true that in Adygea where Kurdish people has settled quietly since 1989 and grown in number day by day, they enjoy a peace and comfort they could find nowhere. Moreover they have an advantage to obtain the right of cultural autonomy which is granted by laws of the Russian Federation. While Kurdish people are proud of these rights and arguing that they live with local people in “a harmony”, Adyge who are the real owner of these territories are uneasy about this situation.
In a copy of Adige Mak, state-owned Adygea daily published in Adygea language (Adygebze), Derbe Timur expressed Adyge’s uneasiness as follows: “Kurds do not respect laws and rules. For example boys avoid paying military service; girls are removed to schools to be got married when they are 12 years old. In a society which is created by feudal value judgments, particularly women are under more pressure. Other peoples in villages that are settled by Kurdish people who has established a life based on a tribal system-organization began to leave these villages as time passes. Kurds do not expel them, but the real owners of the region are forced to leave their homeland and have to immigrate to another place since Kurds do not give concession from their own traditional way of life and do not respect other people’s way of life. Any pressure does not take place for the immigration from these villages; however local people are in disagreement with Kurds who become familiar to continue a life they wish wherever they live.” While Derbe Timur gave an end to his article, his wordings are interesting for showing the sensitivity emerged among Adyge: “Adyge always appreciate their guests, but it must be better not to open the door for guest who does not esteem for host.”
Adyge who are actually very hospitable people are in silence against the Kurdish and Armenian immigration to their own homeland for now. However if it is taken into consideration the emergence of new ethnical islands in the Republic and obtaining the right to comment on country’s resources by them and social and cultural inharmoniousness, it can be expected that a social crises which are not endured by Adyge hospitability will break out.
On the other hand Armenians and Kurds do not want to work at public institutions and they engage in agriculture, stock raising and trade. Therefore they have no demand in public area and a political target is not in question for them. Adyge fertile lands on which annually two or three yields are obtained are enough to feed today’s population. But if the population growth continues, the situation will become different. Since Kurdish population grows much more than Russian and Adyge population because of tradition of having many children even if the immigration comes to an end.
Derbe Timur said that, “Kurds always pursue a better life. We could not endure not to understand their problems, but they do not want to understand problems they created for us”. According to Adyge press, Kurds form a world peculiar to them. Although they do not put forward a demand concerning Adyge political system, especially they follow up closely political developments in Turkey.
Such that, “National-Cultural Kurdish Autonomy” which was established in 1996 and was presented as an organization seen by Adyge state as an authorized organization about Kurdish people gives an open support to PKK/Kongra-Gel.
It must be mentioned from where and for which causes the immigration began in order to clarify the Kurdish question in Caucasus.
Although the Kurdish presence in Caucasus was brought back to former times, after repression of Sheikh Said insurrection in 1925, it was mentioned on a more widespread Kurdish immigration wave to Armenia and Azerbaijan. During Stalin era, some parts of Kurds were expelled to different regions of former USSR, but mainly Kazakhstan between 1936 and1937. Some of them came back in later years. In 1987-1988, Karabakh event displaced Kurds again. The new route of Kurds was North Caucasus. A Kurdish immigration wave to Adygea from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan apart from Armenia is seen rather from economic perspective.
Being indifferent to Kurdish immigration until recent years, Adygea government is concerning how to overcome this problem for last few years. Hamit Neguç, Adviser to the Committee for Humanitarian Problems of the Parliamentarians Assembly of Adygea Republic published an article entitled “Immigrant’s Problems in the Russian Federation” in Adige Mak. He said that “One of the most important problems of today’s Russia is immigrants who enter to the country in uncontrolled ways. This situation affects adversely the state budget and also this is harming to social peace and especially peace and quiet in Northern Caucasus… Since officials could not make sufficient control, immigrants have continued to bring their relatives from other countries to Russia in masses by using kinship ties and some excuses such as working, marriages and touristic reasons. According to Neguç, the population growth in these territories whose area is only 7807 square km was almost 30.000 for last decade. The rate of immigrant population in Adygea reached at a rate of 7 %. Growing immigration and an immigration wave of different peoples to the region make Adygea, a small Republic concerning. Therefore some part of Kurds coming during last process is not yet granted as citizenship.
On the other hand Adygea Security Council has gathered frequently to find a solution which will prevent Kurdish and Armenian immigration which caused Adyge population rate to decrease rapidly in total population in the Republic. However a concrete decision has not yet been reached.
It seems that the problem of Kurdish and Armenian population growth in Adygea will be discussed intensively in next days and years.