SUKHUM / AQW'A ― According to Turkey's Federation of Caucasian Associations (KAFFED), The Human Rights Center of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic, along with representatives of non-governmental organisations and intellectuals, called upon the authorities of the Russian Federation to provide aid to their compatriots living in Turkey and Syria who have been affected by the earthquake.
The statement highlighted that hundreds of Circassians died as a result of the earthquake, with thousands left disabled and tens of thousands homeless. Along with financial support, the statement also called for assistance to those who wish to move to their historical homeland of North Caucasus.
Turkey is home to the largest Circassian diaspora, with an estimated 3 to 5 million people.
The full text of the statement, which was signed by 41 individuals, is as follows:
The Human Rights Center of Kabardino-Balkarian Republic is leading a call from civic representatives and intellectuals to urge Russian authorities to assist our fellow citizens affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
The message is addressed to the following Russian officials:
- President of the Russian Federation, V. V. Putin
- Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, M. V. Mishustin
- Chair of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, V. I. Matvienko
- Chair of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, V. V. Volodin
Note: The President of Adygea Republic M.K. Kumpilov, the President of Kabardino-Balkarian Republic K.V. Kokov, the President of Karachay-Cherkess Republic R. B. Temrezov, and the Governor of Krasnodar Region V.I. Kondratiyev are also included in the call.
The Kabardino-Balkaria, Adygheya, Karachay-Cherkessia, and Black Sea Shapsugh peoples are extremely concerned about the tragic events that have occurred in Turkey: it has been confirmed that more than 44,000 people have lost their lives to date, and 173,000 buildings have been destroyed or damaged. Aftershocks continue to occur periodically, ranging from 4-6 points, so people are living in a constant state of stress with the feeling of a possible repetition of the disaster. Nearly 20 million people have been affected. To date, there have been over 6,000 deaths in Syria.
There is a continuing flow of refugees from large cities. As a result, there is not enough housing, no work, and no means of livelihood. Hundreds of our Circassian compatriots have died, thousands have been disabled or physically injured, and tens of thousands are without shelter. 28 Circassian settlements in the Maraş region have completely disappeared.
All representatives of the Caucasian diasporas living in the disaster areas of these countries have been affected.
In the context of a humanitarian disaster, the concepts of humanism and mutual assistance, which are the most important features that ultimately ensure the survival of the human species, come to the fore.
We appeal to you with an urgent request to help our citizens:
- Provide an opportunity for students to continue their education at our universities;
- Provide all possible financial assistance;
- Help those who want to move to their historic homeland of North Caucasus;
- Create conditions for the simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship by knowing the native Circassian language, which is the state language alongside Russian, in Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, and Adyghea republics.
The Russian government currently has notable experience in accepting and accommodating the Circassians of Kosovo in Adyghea's territory, just like the Donetsk and Luhansk regions' citizens who were given the opportunity to obtain simplified Russian citizenship by solving social and housing problems in all cities and regions of our country, including the Caucasian republics.
The members of the Circassian diaspora are an integral part of our people. Their ancestors were forced to leave their historical homeland against their will due to well-known tragic historical events.
According to Russian laws, like citizens living abroad, Circassians and members of the North Caucasus diasporas living abroad are Russian citizens, and their return to their homeland is regulated by Federal Law No. 99.
As we speak about saving people's lives, we earnestly request you to consider this issue as an urgent matter.
1. Muradin Teshev, Honored Culture Worker of Adyghea Republic, Honorary Chairman of "Adyghe Khase" Shapsughia, Great Patriotic War veteran (Black Sea Coast Shapsughia)
2. Marx Shakhmurzov, President of the Association of Political Repression Victims in Kabardino-Balkaria (Nalchik)
3. Boris Daurov, Professor, Chairman of the Council of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic Organisation for the Preservation of the Identity of the Adyghe Ethnic Group (Council of Elders of the Circassian People) (Cherkessk)
4. Gaziy Chemso, Former Minister of Culture of the Adyghea Republic, State Award Winner in Literature of the Republic of Armenia (Maykop)
5. Madina Khakuasheva, Doctor of Philology (Nalchik)
6. Mukhadin (Muhiddin) Kandur, Doctor of History, writer, film director, composer, academician, Amman (London)
7. Kuek Asfar, Chief Researcher at ARIGA, Doctor of Philology, writer, Chairman of the Adyghe Professional Writers' Union, Honoured Journalist of the Adyghea Republic (Maykop)
8. Valery Khatazhukov, President of the Kabardino-Balkaria Regional Human Rights Center (Nalchik)
9. Gumar Murzakanov, lawyer (Moscow)
10. Zamudin Guchev, Honoured Artist of the Adyghea Republic (Maykop)
11. Aslan Bizhev, lawyer (Moscow)
12. Aslan Karmokov, member of the Russian Artists' Union (Nalchik)
13. Emilia Midova (Nalchik)
14. Zaur Kozhev, Doctoral Candidate in History (Nalchik)
15. Roza Namitokova, journalist (Krasnodar)
16. Valentina Afaunova, renowned public figure (Nalchik)
17. Bella Bayslanovna (Sokolova - Mafagel), journalist (Black Sea Coast Shapsughia)
18. Vladimir Kudaev, Doctoral Candidate in History, Honoured Journalist of the KBR (Nalchik)
19. Dakhanago Achokh, President of the Adyghe (Circassian) Women's Public Organisation (Black Sea Coast Shapsughia)
20. Huseyin Kushkhov, Doctoral Candidate in History (Nalchik)
21. Banov AbuYusuf, Chairman of the "Council of Circassian Elders" (Cherkessk)
22. Ruslan Tsrimov, Academician of the Russian Academy of Arts, People's Artist of the KBR (Nalchik)
23. Amenet Pseush, philosopher, candidate of philosophical sciences (Krasnodar)
24. Zaurbiy Chundyshko, President of the Adige Khase "Circassian Council" public organisation of the Adygea Republic (Maykop)
25. Alik Shashev, renowned public figure (Nalchik)
26. Ruslan Gvashev, renowned public figure (Black Sea Coast Shapsughia)
27. Zaurbek Bgazhnokov, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation (Nalchik)
28. Gissa Abid, Honored Culture Worker of the Adyghea Republic (Maykop)
29. Bislan Khamhokov, President of the National Cultural House of St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg)
30. Ruslan Achmyz, civil engineer, public figure (Maykop)
31. Rauf Daurov, President of the "Center for the Revival and Development of the Circassian People and Culture" (Cherkessk)
32. Marie Kuek, leading researcher at ARIGI, candidate for art critic, member of the Russian Artists Union (Maykop)
33. Raisa Unarokova, Doctor of Philology (Maykop)
34. Muradin Dumanov, Honored People's Artist of Kabardino-Balkaria (Nalchik)
35. Safet Tesheva, renowned public figure (Shapsughia on the Black Sea coast)
36. Luba Balagova, writer, film director, academician based in Amman (London)
37. Olga Begretova-Efendieva, human rights activist (Nalchik)
38. Maryam Bagova, Honorary Education Officer of the Russian Federation, "Best Teacher of the Year in Russia" (Nalchik)
39. Shamset Tesheva, renowned public figure (Shapsughia on the Black Sea coast)
40. Zaur Zhemukhov, Chairman of the Board of the NGO "Zhylebze" (Nalchik)
41. Mukhamed Cherkesov, Executive Director of the NGO "Center for the Revival and Development of the Circassian People and Culture" (Cherkessk).