The Crimean Tatars

The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation


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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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.
'...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.
Those interested in ethnicity and nationalism in the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Eurasia, the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans and the Republic of Turkey, as well as those interested in comparative diaspora studies, political science, political geography and history.
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