Sunday, July 9, 2023

Apparently to Please Moscow, Ankara Now Deporting Some North Caucasians, Activists Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 7 – Turkey, the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, has traditionally been a safe haven for peoples from the North Caucasus; and popular attitudes in Turkey toward those nations remain positive. But the Turkish authorities are deporting some of them to Russia, apparently to please Moscow, activists and experts say.

            There is no evidence that these deportations are about to become massive, nor is there any indication of the basis on which some North Caucasians are being deported while others are being left untouched, those involved with this issue say; and consequently, they conclude that Ankara is trying to please Moscow (

            The Russian government has long been upset by the activism of North Caucasian diasporas in Turkey and especially in Istanbul and so these arrests, even though not yet numerous, are something Moscow clearly hopes will lead the North Caucasians in Turkey to be more cautious in their political activities.

            Such deportations may have that effect, but they may also exacerbate tensions between Russia and North Caucasians at home, given that many people within the borders of the Russian Federation will see this as another step by Moscow to destroy their national movements and even nations.

            And consequently, what Moscow hopes will increase its control over that troubled region may in fact have exactly the opposite effect.  Whether that is appreciated in either the Russian capital or the Turkish one is unknown. 

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