The Crimean Tatars: The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation

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Taking as its starting point the ethnogenesis of this ethnic group during the Mongol period (13th century), this volume traces their history through Islam, the Ottoman and the Russian Empires (15th and 17th century). The author discusses how Islam, Russian colonial policies and indigenous national movements shaped the collective identity of this victimized ethnic group.
Part two deals with the role of forced migration during the Russian colonial period, Soviet nation-building policies and ethnic cleansing in shaping this people's modern national identity. This work therefore also has wider applications for those dealing with the construction of diasporic identities. Taking a comparative approach, it traces the formation of Crimean Tatar diasporas in the Ottoman Balkans, Republican Turkey, and Soviet Central Asia (from 1944).
A theme which emerges through the work is the gradual construction of the Crimea as a national homeland by its indigenous Tatar population. It ends with a discussion of the post-Soviet repatriation of the Crimean Tatars to their Russified homeland and the social and identity problems involved.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'...this book makes for engrossing reading…of great interest to anyone working in the fields of diaspora research, identity construction, nationality studies, and of course Russian, Soviet, Turkish, Ottoman, or East European history.
Anna Oldfield Senarlsan, Central Eurasian Studies Review, 2004.
'This outstanding, thoroughly researched, and clearly presented volume focuses on the Crimean Tatars traumatic history of migration and exile under tsars and Soviet rule.'
D. MacKenzie, Choice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004121225
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/26/2001
  • Series: Brill's Inner Asian Library Series, #2
  • Pages: 520
  • Product dimensions: 6.66 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian G. Williams, Ph.D. (1999), in Middle Eastern and Central Asian History, University of Wisconsin, is Lecturer in Middle Eastern History, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Introduction. The Crimean Tatars as a Case Study in Ethno-Nationalism and Group Displacement 1
Ch. 1 Origins. The 'Ethnogenesis' of the Tatars of the Crimea 7
Ch. 2 Dar al-Islam. The Crimean Tatars from Mehmed the Conqueror to Catherine the Great 39
Ch. 3 The Pearl in the Tsar's Crown. The Crimean Land and People under Russia 73
Ch. 4 Dispossession. The Loss of the Crimean Homeland 111
Ch. 5 Dar al-Harb. The 19th Century Crimean Tatar Migrations to the Ottoman Empire 139
Ch. 6 Signs and Portents. The Tatars of the Crimea in the Aftermath of the Migration of 1860 172
Ch. 7 Ak Toprak. The Formation of the Crimean Tatar Communities of the Caucasus, Bulgaria and Romania 196
Ch. 8 The Great Retreat. The Formation of the Crimean Tatar Diaspora in Turkey 227
Ch. 9 Yesil Ada. The Construction of Tatar Diasporic Identity in Bulgaria and Romania 279
Ch. 10 Vatan. The Construction of the Crimean Tatar Homeland 301
Ch. 11 Soviet Homeland. The Nationalization of Crimean Tatar Identity in the USSR 334
Ch. 12 Surgun. The Crimean Tatar Exile in Central Asia 374
Ch. 13 Return. The Post-Soviet Crimean Tatar Migrations from Central Asia to the Crimea 411
Bibliography 465
Index 485
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