It’s been 3 years since we got on the stage of politics after a short phase of preparations. We had not completed our preparations then, yet we decided to fulfill them in the practical process. Because we beleived that we’d been experiencing a historical process and the Circassian (Adyghe) people had no time to lose.
In the last 3 years, quite a few speculations were made about us. We were claimed to lean our back to somewhere else; claimed to be the “collaborators” of USA or Russian Federation… and recently, of Georgia.
Or our statements were associated with certain political stances; even worse, we were tried to be labeled inappropriately as racist, fascist or neo-nazi by those who feel uncomfortable about us being primarily concerned with the future of Circassian (Adyghe) People, rather than all the Caucassian Peoples.
However, so far we had formalized both our political opinions and activities together with a few fellows experienced on different political platforms; and possibly we were the most independent, stand-alone group came from the heart of Circassian People. Neither we had any ransom to pay, nor we were under an obligation to anyone.
Therefore we did not hesitate to express our thoughts and to criticize the “established order”, other Circassian policies, foundations or the status quo. Without knowing a limit, we put into words what we thought and what we beleived to be true.
We stood by our words... We never became timeserving!
We are the Circassians, the Adyghes. But also we are their Abkhazian, Turkish, Kurdish and Russian brothers, neighbors and friends who are concerned about the future of Circassian People, who beleive they should have the democratic rights and freedoms in every country they live and who beleive they should rebuild the homeland Circassia… We are the Patriots of Circassia.
We beleive that becoming a nation and rebuilding Circassia is the way to the survival of Circassian People and the solution of Circassian Question, which can be formulated as “carrying out genocide on Circassians and exiling them from homeland; making them live in diaspora dispersed and scattered in tens of countries, splitting them into 6 administrative units in their homeland and assimilating”.
And this consideration differs us from other Circassian policies, foundations and groups, namely from the Status Quo, at two principal points:
1- Until now our policies stated that the Northern Caucasus Peoples were “one single People” despite there were differences at some points; presented the necessity to organize collectively and struggle together, defined a “common identity” accordingly, or to be more precise, they asserted that all the Northern Caucasus peoples were Circassians.
2- Homeland of Circassians was never stated; Abkhazia, Chechenia, Ossetia, Daghestan or Karachai-Balkaria were called with their names, but when it comes to the Circassian Homeland’s turn, it was underrated as “Nortwest Caucasus ”. Circassia was a history, just like Atlantis sank into waters of history.
This was the biggest injustice that could be done to a people who’d lived in Circassia for millenia, contributed to the historical development of humanity, fought for more than 100 years for their independence and freedom, had hundreds of thousands of martyrs; but as the war was lost, became the victims of a genocide and exiled from their homeland.
Circassians’ homeland was Circassia. Our identitiy, our language and our culture all shaped on this land. Our ancestors spilled their blood on every handsbreadth of this soil. They established the Parliament of Circassian Freedom; took the first steps of organizing the State of Circassia, a democratic republic, declared independence, but as they lost the war againist a many times stronger Russia, they were exiled from their homeland and Circassia were occupied and annexed.
This honorable history shall be kept alive, not be forgotton; our future shall be build on this history
Our ancestors war, belief and longing for independence and freedom shouldn’t have become a past already forgotton, but should have been the vision for the future of our people.
We had to look after this heritage, since the solution of the Circassian Question would be possible by Circassians’ becoming a nation again.
This is the reason for existence of the Patriots of Circassia; this is the vision they’ve been trying to put flesh on the bones for the last 3 years, the future they’ve been trying to constitute.
And the underlying reason for more secondary problems, attacks and smear campaigns against us, and for the “vicious”-“holy” alliances conspired, is this vision of us for the future.
Because, this vision primarily sends the “project” of some interest groups of Circassia, aiming the usage or extermination of Circassian people and Circassia, to the waste bin of history; but also it proclaims to the world the bankruptcy of the “Caucasia” or “Northern Caucasia” statement that all our political groups has constituted their policies and sociocultural relationships on.
For the future of Circassian people, the challenge of “becoming a nation” shall be raised. Because there’s no future for those people who can not succeed in becoming a nation.
That is to say, either we’ll become a nation and build the Circassia, or we’ll die out. There’s no other way!
That’s why no one should expect us to hang around with cultural activities like they do, or to be the shore of others’ Caucasia policies and watch ourselves dying out.
We answer the question ‘who are the Circassians?’ as the “Adyghes”, and ‘what’s their language?’ as the “Adyghe language”. Or we say Northern Caucasus peoples are brothers or neighbors, but they are not all the same or not all of them are Circassians. Some criticize these statements of us and in return they invent some spurious “theories” such as “Circassian Peoples” or “Circassian Languages”.
Yes, all these statements and “theories” are invented, and don’t have any scientific or political value. In fact there’s neither a “nation theory” to propose a nation on earth to have multiple identities or languages, nor a scientist or political scientist to speak of something like “German languages” or “French peoples”.
Being a modern social union, a “nation” has only one identitiy and one language. Those are the “chauvinists of dominant nation” who claim this national identity and language are “common-upper” identity and language of all ethnic communities and peoples living within some certain boundaries. Intention is to sell the dominant nation’s identity to the other ethnic groups and peoples, and so to assimilate these communities.
In other words, “theory” of lower-upper identity is a theory invented by the chauvinist states and the dominant nations of these states, to enhance the sense of belonging of oppressed nations and national communities to the chauvinist state.
When the nations are overlapped rough-and-tumble, the devil takes the hindmost, namely the downmost is destroyed. What’s right is to live “side by side”, “freely” and “fraternally”. And now all the world has seen this truth, so the chauvinist states has entered in the process of destruction or reconstruction. But in fact, what’s destructed or destroyed is not the “nation state” as some people surmise, but is the “chauvinist state”!
For an assimilated ethnic community or people, in order to guarantee their future, there’s no other cure but to reach a nation format, or no other modern social union formula but to be a nation.
Nations to live together side by side are going to either build multinational states, or reorganize as independent states. For those who can not achieve this, the foregone conclusion is ‘being annihilated’.
Owners of the expressions like “Caucasia” or “People of Northern Caucasia” are skewing this resolution and reorganization since these are incompatible with their interests, and telling the story about the end of natiostates era; and what’s more, at a time on earth that a new nationstate is built almost every single day.
The real reason why they’re telling this story and what they’re actually criticising or afraid of are the “creiteria for being a nation” and our aspiration for being a nation. Because there’s no nation without a common identity, common language and a country. Every nation or national community has an identity, language, culture, history and ideal for the future and for living together.
On the other hand, expressions like “People of Northern Caucasus” are not only noncomforming these criteria, but also contrast with the vision and consciousness of being a nation.
Because Peoples of Northern Caucasus are not a whole. Every single one has its’ own language, despite their similarities they have their own culture and own history. Especially in the last 2 decades, they’ve been trying to resolve their own problems and building their own future. They have entered the process of building a nation and the relationships between them do not go beyond cooperation and solidarity.
Some claim that these ethnic identities are “artificial” and these are invented by the Soviets. Nonsense! Ethnic identities are the results of thousands of years of accumulation of humanity, and still they are the oldest social unions. Set Socialism or Soviets aside, even any kind of serious political organizations didn’t exist on earth while these identities had taken shape.
In fact, the Soviets didn’t invent any ethnic identities, but it organized these identities according to its’ own political criteria and the interest of the ‘centre’. While for some identities it made something out of almost nothing, it ignored the others, splintered the Circassian people and disjointed them into 6 administrative units.
And today, the biggest betrayal that can be done to the Abkhaz people is saying that they are not Abkhaz but Circassians. This is to undermine the Abkhaz people’s process of being a nation, to pull Abkhazia into the other Caucasian peoples’ problems and waste their time, even to drown them. Similarly, the priority of Ossetian people is the unity of Ossetia and making it stand on its’ own feet.
These states or Republics united around their own vision of future and sealed alliances with respect to this. And this is how it should be! But Circassian People must unite around their own language, culture and the vision for their future. No one has the right to stonewall this.
So, the Patriots of Circassia are the soldiers for the idea of union of Circassian people, their reunion at the homeland Circassia and become a nation.
No matter what others say, they’re going to stand on their way until Circassia is established.
So what do the Patriots of Circassia want?
* The Patriots of Circassia primarily want freedom for the Circassian People. Because freedom is a birthright given by the God and the nature to every single human and all communities. There’s no equality or brotherhood without freedom, there’s no affection and respect.
But freedom does not necessarily mean separation or irresponsibility and anarchism. A free person or society has the right to sit at the other side of the table. They have a voice in any subject related with them. It’s not possible for anyone to ignore or violate their will.
Therefore, freedom means showing respect to the rights and freedoms of parties, acknowledge mutual wills and looking after mutual benefits.
* Patriots of Circassia are strongly attached to the principal of brotherhood; beleives in the brotherhood of people. Nevertheless brotherhood of people does not mean different peoples union around any specific identitiy or an ideological notion.
Brotherhood means showing respect to mutual benefits, identities, decisions and preferences. It’s a mutual cooperation and solidarity.
* Patriots of Circassia want to abide by democracy, and to be a member of democratic societies family.
Any ideological definition of democracy does not fit us. We take a stand for a political organization and a system, in which every interest group, economic-social communities or individuals existing in a society has the freedom and right to organize and to be represented in proportion to its’ power.
In this society there must be freedom to organize, to elect and be elected, and separation of powers. Executive, legislative and judicial powers must be in different hands and the rights of every single individual must be secured.
Being the Patriots of Circassia, we reject not only the antidemocratic organizations, but also the antidemocratic methods. It is not possible to organize a democracy or a democratic society by employing antidemocratic methods; likewise, anyone who employs antidemocratic methods can not be a democrat!
That’s why Patriots of Circassia want to create democratic organizations, struggle for the Circassian rights and freedoms by employing peaceful and democratic methods and to be a part of democratic communities by organizing a democratic society.
* Peace is sacred for us. Even one person dying in a war pulls at our heartstrings. But peace can not be established and maintained without resolving the causes of wars.
As the Patriots of Circassia, we are not only against wars, but also want to resolve the causes of wars; and want justice, equality and mutual respect to rule both personal and social relationships; we reject all manner of repression, terrorism and exploitation.
We want peace to rule the world and want to live with our neighbors in peace forever.
* We want unity!
Securing the unity of Circassian people is our primary objective; and gradually uniting with our brothers and neighbors are our short and long term targets.
Circassian peoples’ being alone is not for our benefits. Our target is an economical-political association especially with the countries and peoples in the region on a principal axis of respect to the identities and mutual benefits.
Yet, our priority will be the unity and unification of Circassian People.
This unity has two aspects: First one is putting an end to the disunity of Circassia in our homeland and organizing the historical Circassia land as a one single administrative unit. Second one is redifining our association with the peoples we co-exist and live together especially in the diaspora.
That is, primarily creating the organization of Circassian people on the axis of its’s own identity; after that, organizing the necessary foundations on the base of mutual corporation and solidarity with the other Northern Caucasian Peoples.
As the Patriots of Circassia, we want to unite and form economical-political-social and cultural organizations with the other Northern Caucasus Peoples, also with all the oppressed peoples that we have interests in common. Mutual interests will be looked after in our relations with other Peoples; respect and “reciprocity in diplomacy” will rule our relations.
* Patriots of Circassia are aware of the fact that religious belief and worhsip are two of the important and indespensible elements of a person’s and community’s life, and nobody has the right to intrude on another’s belief and worship.
People should be able to believe any religion they want and worship freely. Rather than imposing a certain religion or irreligiousness to people, a state’s duty is to secure the freedom of belief and worship.
We don’t want to organize our communal-political relations with respect to any religious belief; we respect to all beliefs and also the right to not to believe any religion.
* We, the Circassians, inherited the awareness of “being a part of nature” from our ancestors. Therefore, protecting the nature and showing attention to this in our every economical or political activities are our primary duties.
We shall never forget that, while riding their horses in the forest, our ancestors hid their swords and daggers in order not to harm the nature. Keeping this awareness alive and protecting the earth are our duties.
Today, unique beauties of nature are destroyed and even terminated forever by the great powers’ and monopols’ economic activities and “itch for money”.
As the Patriots of Circassia, we will take all kinds of measures to protect nature and environment, cooperate with international agencies and institutes for this, not allow the economic activities that’ll harm the nature and environment, and be in a struggle to develop the natural and environmental awareness among Circassian people.
* Patriots of Circassia are also clear about the place that our women have in social life, and the role they have in building our future.
We find neither what we inherited enough, nor the “equality of women and men” sufficient; we believe the rights and freedoms are not static but dynamic, they improve in paralel to the changes in social life; thus in this perspective, the rights of women and relations between women and men need to be defined continuously with respect to current social needs.
In all aspects of life, from the family life to the economic and social relations, we want our women to have equal rights, to actively participate and take charge and responsibility in social and cultural activities.
We will promote this everywhere we are. Because we beleive that everything gets more humane with a woman’s touch.
* Throughout our history, we the Circassians, have been proud to be a society with no prisons or beggars. Indeed, we have the right to be proud. But we can not direct a modern community life with those relations and traditions that are not possible to revive and be organized. This would not be realistic.
Modern societies have governments or some political organizations with governmental functions. For our future, we want to create such organizations, we struggle for that.
Yet it is possible to maintain the positive accumulation of Circassian people in modern social life, also their cooperation and solidarity traiditions that left their marks on their social life, and their tradition to give a helping hang to ones who need. The way to achieve this is having a “social state” perception.
Therefore, we reject the social relations that shape based on mammonization; and beleive that the government shall regulate the social life and meet the humanistic needs of those in need. Goverment shall be responsible for at least meeting the very basic needs of everyone.
So we, the Patriots of Circassia want to struggle within these principles and to organize our future on the axis of these principles. We‘ll pursue a route from simpler to more complex, from specific to general.
At first we‘re going to train and organize ourselves. Namely, Patriots of Circassia are going to create an independent and open-democratic organization for Patriotic Movement; and all Patriots of Circassia will be responsible and accountanble to this organization.
Because the Patriotism of Circassia is the future of Circassian People.
But at the same time, we are going to continue working actively in all establishments of Circassian people, tell the thesis of Patriotic Movement in these establishments; be organized and try to organize all our economical, political, social and cultural activities in the axis of Circassian People’s future and needs in these managing bodies.
Circassian Associations-Adıge Xasexer or the associations that publicly emphasize their Adyghe identities have been becoming widespread. This progress, namely the organization of Circassian People around their national identity can not be stopped by anyone.
Now the relations between these associations must be improved; we must get them cooperate and act with solidarity. They must have a coordination.
One of our near destinations is to build the Federation of Circassian Associations.
Democratic relations will command all our efforts and in all the areas or units we’re working. We will struggle against turfism and sectarian tendencies; every single idea will be able to express itself and organize freely.
Patriots of Circassia consider the socio-cultural activities and existing establishments, associations and the federation that will organize these activities as essential and imperative; nevertheless, they are aware of the fact that it is not possible to organize our future via these establishments.
Therefore, it’s crucial to create an organization which will meet our needs, make our policies, secure the unity of Circassian People, carry Circassian People in front of world public opinion as a “full unity”; an organization not centralized in Russian Federation.
This organization is the “Assembly of Circassian People” or “Congress of Circassian People”.
In every country we live, starting from the smallest accomodation unit, from the bottom to the top, we must organize collective organizations and assemblies; enable the participation of our policies, intellectuals and academicians to these, and crown this with a World Circassians’ Congress or Assembly.
Our objective is to rebuild the Circassian Nation and Circassia, and organize Circassian language as a communication language in every aspects of life in our homeland. In order to achieve this goal, we must primiraly concentrate to the solution of Circassian Question; that is, we must bring the disunity and dividedness of Circassian people to an end.
This is repatriation to homeland!
Yet, writing the 150 years of diaspora life off and expect Circassians to repatriot is not something expected to happen by itself. For this, particularly Russian Federation, the inheritor of Charist Russia, and the other states in the world, agencies and institutions should support and help, so that the moral and materialistic background for repatriotism should be prepared.
This is only possible by justice to be served; that is, Russian Federation to admit that there is a Circassian Question, to recognize Circassian Genocide and Exile which is the cause of this Question; to recognize us unconditionally the right to repatriate and rebuild Circassia; and to apologize from Circassian community.
For this reason, introducing the Circassian Genocide and Exile to the world, notably to Russian Federation, is one of our primary duties and one of the touchstones of our struggle. Because justice is an absolute must for social peace and brotherhood. And it’s impossible to build a future without removing the negative marks of past.
Yet, giving the right of repatriation and supporting this are not sufficient alone. This repatriation shall guarantee our future. And this is only possible by acknowledging that the Circassians are indigenous people of Circassia; that they lived on this land for millenia; and by recognizing their rights to live there forever and organize their social lives with respect to their traditions.
* This means the recognition of Circassians as the indigenous people of Circassia. All the indigenous peoples all over the world have this right. It has to be recognized that Circassians are indigenous people of Circassia. This right will make us again the sovereign people of Circassia. It is not possible for us to disclaim this under no circumstances.
Those who object this demand of us by asking “what’s the number of Circassians living in our homeland?” are comparing apples to oranges.
For a People, being sovereign on their historical land is not something related with population or numbers. That People owns that land, and now being sovereign again on that land means recognizing their rights -coming from history- to own the land inequitably got from them and conceding them the necessary political, social and cultural privileges to let them continue their existence.
However, being a sovereign people does not mean ruling the others. Patriots of Circassia are also aware of the non-Circassian peoples living in Circassia, and want to share the ascendancy and the governance with them and live together in peace. We recognize the identities, rights and freedoms of these peoples; and guarantee that these will be legally insured.
Yet more, if we can express ourselves correctly and don’t make any mistakes to these Peoples in Circassia, we have no doubts about them to understand us and in the next phases actively participate our struggle to rebuild Circassia. Because these peoples also have their own interests in a democratic Circassia integrated with the world.
Patriots of Circassia beleive that it could be possible to resolve the Circassian Question and guarantee the future of Circassian People only if the Circassians could repariate, be the sovereign people of Circassia and have the equal rights and freedoms with the other Peoples.
This means the resolution of Circassian Question is possible by:
- Recognition of “Circassian Genocide and Exile” and remedying its’s defects; namely, serving the justice...
- Unconditional repatriation of Circassian People.
- Reconstitiution of Circassia within their historical borders…
- Recognition of Circasians as indigenous people of Circassia and their rights arising from being indigenous...
- Circassians to become the sovereign poeple of Circassia…
- and to have the equal rights with all other peoples.
Seeing those days to come is the aspiration and dream; organizing and struggling for this are the duties of the Patriots of Circassia.
Long Live the Circassian Struggle.
Long live Circassia!
Founder Assembly of Patriots of Circassia,
28th of March, 2013