21st Century is the last opportunity for Circassians, by Yalçın Karadaş

Yalçın Karadaş | Special to Circassian World

Recently, a Circassia is being built on unfounded concepts especially in the virtual environment. The trouble is that, when we ignore the ones whose concern is to mortify everybody and everything, and to produce traitors, the architects of this construction who are able to make smart remarks, sadly, have mostly remained in the 19th century in their minds although they live in the 21st century bodily. Moreover, the training they had has nothing to do with nation and state building.

As for the academics and intellectuals, they are hesitant even to whisper in this verbosity created by people talking through their hat.

Indeed, although it is clear that the concepts of state, nation, country, community, ethnicity, society, tribe, etc the meaning of which change over time don’t fit into the context,  the number of people who are concerned about this in the debates is of a limited number.

An ancient nation is being tried to be put together with imported ideas as if possessing the same conditions as people created by history at a different time, on a different geography of the world. They want the same conditions to be available to them; they even assume to be so.

However, they don’t seem to understand that the path they have taken to the solution of the main problem has been older than 200 years and the arguments has become as virtual as the virtual environments in which they have been uttered.

They have been conditioned to building a nation-state in 21st century with the definitions, methods and conditions of 19th century. Furthermore, what they are trying to build is an outmoded, mono-lingual, mono-religious and mono-ethnic structure which is the enemy of peoples like us.

In this terrible mistake and anachronism they are intolerant of opposition.

If we are doing things on behalf of the “Circassians” we should take steps after questioning ourselves to be upright, honest and decent like a Circassian. Thus we will be taken seriously. Otherwise, they will not take us seriously.

The world is evolving unbelievably in a hasty age of information. It is no longer the 1800s. Most of the Circassians are not in the Caucasus anymore. They are an “exiled nation” and the majority of them are in Diaspora. Their children are familiar with main and important languages and cultures of the world while they know only a little bit of their mother tongue.

Even the racist Kemalist state of Turkey cannot resist the changes. Civil and military bureaucracies have been learning their place slowly. Turkey is on change and the biggest Circassian community is waiting for this state, which is beset by lies and denials, to change, democratize and demilitarize.  Some of them are trying to contribute to the changes while asking themselves: “Are we being used again?” But, how the government would while their own people do not take them seriously? They don’t give up.

Russia is also somewhere in the world. We will see how long it will resist changing. I am one of those who have no doubt it will eventually change. The reality of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are in front of us. We have to be ready, careful and organized within this change; no matter wherever we live.

So what is most needed for this readiness? The answer is obvious: International organization. What we need is to be organized and we, first of all, have to face ourselves to achieve this goal. We have to face, discuss and make our determinations clearly; we have to design our short, medium and long-term policy diligently.

If we want to live as a “Circassian” and if we are dreaming of “Circassia”, appropriate actions and discourses should be developed. We cannot maintain that ancient culture with strategies contrary to culture. The very basis of our culture is “respect”. Respect for the rights and freedoms of others. Respect for the differences of people who have been or will be living together with Circassians.

The formula for the liberation of the peoples of the Caucasus and all other peoples whose rights are usurped depends on “democracy”; the real democracy.

Just as respect which is the basis of our culture; exactly the same as it is.  For everyone and every identity in every part of the world.

Yalçın Karadaş (K’eref)
Spokesman of the “Circassian Initiative for Democracy”
Member of the Editorial Board of “Jineps” Newspaper
Istanbul, August 2010