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Circassians and Abkhaz-Abazas in metropolitan areas: The case of Istanbul and Ankara

12 April 2024

This resource was produced by MRG’s partner(s) with MRG. It remains the property of the organization(s) in question and does not necessarily reflect the views of MRG.

Just as the invisibility of minorities in general, minorities in urban and metropolitan areas are also invisible to a large extent. Today, at least half of the global population lives in an urban area, while it is estimated that, by 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will reside in this type of settlement space (Gottdiener, Hohle and King, 2019: 1). As for Turkey, almost 70% of Turkey’s population resides in urban areas (TUIK; 2022), which is higher than the current global average for urban population. These striking rates of urbanization are driven by various factors, including the search for better employment, education, and healthcare services, as well as the allure of urban lifestyles; they bring about significant social, political, cultural and economic impact too. While urban areas can offer opportunities, minorities may also face significant challenges, including poverty, discrimination, segregation, and inequality. Despite a large literature on these issues, there is no specific study or report on Circassians or Abkhaz-Abazas living in metropolitan cities of Turkey. Likewise, although the State of the World’s Minorities and Indigenous Peoples report by MRG was published with a thematic focus on the urban areas in 2015, it did not have any mention of Circassians or Abkhaz-Abazas in Turkey.

This content was published in the context of the programme ‘Strengthening the capacity of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities in Türkiye’ (MARC). Learn more >

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Murat Topçu

Yasemin Oral