- For the municipality in Azerbaijan, see Qarapapaq.
Karapapak falconers in
Naghadeh, Iran (1913)
|Unknown (estimated to be in the hundred thousands)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Karapapak (Qarapapaq, Terekeme, Tərəkəmə) (meaning Black Hat) are a Turkic-speaking sub-ethnic group of Azerbaijanis who mainly live in Azerbaijan, in Georgia, in the northeast of Turkey near the border with Georgia and Armenia, primarily in the provinces of Ardahan (around Lake Çıldır), Kars and Iğdır, and in Iran. The exact number for the Karapapak population worldwide is unknown but is likely to be in the hundred thousands. Karapapaks are not to be confused with Karakalpaks.
Origins and history
Sometimes referred to as Terekeme or Tarakama (from Arabic: "تراكمة" (Tarākameh), the Arabic broken plural for Turkmen--a term traditionally used for any Turkic-speaking nomadic people, Karapapaks are often identified as a sub-ethnic group of Azerbaijanis, even though in the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary they are sometimes listed as a separate ethnic group. Theories of Karapapaks descending from Kumyks (a Turkic-speaking ethnic group in Dagestan) have also been brought forward by scholars like Fahrettin Kırzıoğlu and Zeki Velidi Togan. The Terekeme originally populated territories in what is now southern Georgia, northwestern Armenia, southern Dagestan, and central and northwestern Azerbaijan, but almost entirely migrated to the Ottoman Empire and Persia upon Russia's conquest of the South Caucasus between 1813 and 1828. Here they were given the name Karapapakh ("black hat") by the Anatolians reflecting the element of the Terekeme ethnic outfit that distinguished them from the local population.
Russia's expansion to Kars (in Eastern Turkey) in 1878 as a result of the Russo-Turkish War led to some Karapapak settlements becoming part of Russia once again. With the Russian Revolution and Soviet expansion south in late 1910s and 1920s, Karapapaks became a new nationality group in Soviet Union. Late in 1930s, the Soviet Union stopped classifying Karapapaks as a separate people and in 1944, they were included in the mass deportation of Meskhetian Turks from Georgia to Central Asia.
Even though the Karapapaks left in the Caucasus had largely assumed Azeri identity by the mid-20th century and despite lack of record of Karapapaks in modern censuses of the South Caucasus states, nowadays small groups may still identify themselves as Karapapak or Terekeme in the regions originally inhabited by them. Karapapaks are also found in Central Asia where many of them were deported along with the Meskhetian Turks in 1944 during the Stalinist population transfers. The last census to mention Karapapaks as a separate ethnic group was the 1926 Soviet census, according to which there were 6,311 of them throughout the South Caucasus.
Most Karapapaks are Shia Muslims of the Twelvers school of thought. In the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary, those identifying with the Caferi strand are listed as Turkmen (Tarakama).
- (Turkish) The Great Borchali and the Karapapak by Seyfullah Türksoy
- (Russian) Azeris. Great Soviet Encyclopedia
- (Russian) Kavkazski Krai. Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary
- (Russian) Kumyk Communities Abroad by Kamil Aliyev
- (Turkish) Karapapaklar. Karapapak.com
- Ronald Wixman.(1984).The Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook.
- (Russian) The All-Soviet of 1926: the Transcaucasian SFSR
- (Turkish) History of the Terekeme. Terekemeler.com
- Alexandre Bennigsen & Enders Wimbush. (1986). Muslims of the Soviet Empire
- (Russian) Kars Oblast. Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary