Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

Chechen, Abkhazian, and Circassian peoples, including those who had to immigrate to the Ottoman Empire, still remember the difficult and painful times faced in the Northern Caucasus under Czarist Russian rule. In particular, those communities that immigrated to Ottoman lands have impacted Russia-Turkey relations following the Cold War. The 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Russia was an opportunity for these historical events to be brought to the attention of the world. This article provides an overview of the history of the Northern Caucasian peoples’ resistance against Russian rulers, and analyzes the role of Circassian, Chechen, Abkhazian, and Georgian diaspora groups in Turkey’s foreign policy decision-making toward Russia. The author argues that the role of the Circassian diaspora in contemporary Turkish foreign policy has been diminishing as Turkey’s relations with Georgia and Russia have strengthened.