Circassians scattered across Anatolia and Middle East

Istanbul – ‘Küllerinden Doğmak,’ a documentary film featuring authentic lifestyles of Circassians in Turkey, will be shown October 3-7 in Istanbul as part of the 10th International 1001 Documentary Film Festival.


Directed by Enis Rıza, the documentary film was created as part of a project promoting pluralism, ‘Birbirimizin Zenginliğiyiz.’ Both the Federation of Caucasian Societies and the Istanbul Club of Friendship supported this project. An official program on supporting cultural rights and sponsoring broadcasts provided the framework for the film.


The film will be shown both at the Beyoğlu Cinema at 6.10 pm on October 4, and at the Nazım Hikmet Cultural Center in Kadıköy at 6.30 pm on October 6.


It is about the Circassians who were forced in 1864 out of their own country after they had to go to war against Russia, which then occupied the North Caucasia. It is intended to give a picture of the Circassians in their attempts to remain faithful to their authenticity even when they were abroad. The movie is giving information about the daily life of Circassians both in Turkish and in Circassian.  


The Director is summarizing the history of Circassians in its introduction to the film as follows: “The forests around the villages were destroyed. Then, houses and lands were destroyed too. Unwillingness on the part of Circassians to leave their lands costed them their life. Thousands of hundreds of Circassians had to leave their country after they could not stand any longer the wars. New people were relocated to those areas. The names as well as historical facts of the Circassians began to disappear from the minds.


And it was May 21, 1864, when the Tsardom celebrated the ending of the war between Caucasus and Russia. Thousands of Circassians were waiting in lines along the shores of Black Sea to get to the Ottoman soil. It was neither the start nor the end of the great migration. Anyone who managed to survive found a way either into the Anatolia or somewhere across the Middle East….”


The movie is also featuring stories from Circassians, both old and young, scattered across a broad geography. Such stories are giving clues about how they adopted to life abroad, how they earned their living, how they went through the years of Independence War, how they remained, in short, faithful to their authentic way of life. (Agency Caucasus)