Abazins

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Abazins
абаза
Naval Jack of Abkhazia Proposal.svg
Flag of the Abazins
Total population
60,000-100,000 (est.)
Regions with significant populations
 Turkey 15,000-50,000[1]
 Egypt 50,000[2]
 Russia 43,341
36,919
3,646
418
 Armenia 400
 Ukraine 128[3]
Languages
Abaza, Turkish, Arabic
Religion
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Abkhaz, Adyghe, Kabarday, Ubykh

The Abazins or Abaza (Abaza: абаза, Turkish: Abazalar, Arabic: أباظة‎) are an ethnic group of the Caucasus, closely related to the Abkhaz and Circassian (Adyghe) people. They live mostly in Turkey, Egypt, and in Karachay-Cherkessia and Stavropol Krai in the North Caucasus region of Russia.

The Abazins originally inhabited the Sadzen region in the western part of Abkhazia and migrated from Abkhazia to Abazinia in 14th and 15th centuries. They later migrated to other regions of the Middle East in the 18th and 19th centuries. Their dominant religion is Sunni Islam.

Abazins speak the Abaza language, a Northwest Caucasian language closely related to Abkhaz and Circassian. There are two dialects of Abaza spoken in Karachay-Cherkessia: Ashkharua and Tapanta. The culture and traditions of Abazins are similar to those of the Circassians. On many old maps Abazin territory is marked as part of Circassia (Adygea).

According to the 2010 Russian census, there were 43,341 Abazins in Russia. An Abazin diaspora exists in Turkey,[1] Egypt,[2] Jordan, Syria, and other Islamic countries, most of which are descendants of refugees (muhajirs) from the Caucasian War with the Russian Empire.

There is a significant Abazin presence in Turkey. An estimated 150,000 Abazins live in the provinces of Eskişehir, Samsun, Yozgat, Adana, and Kayseri. Most of them belong to Ashkharua clan that fought against the Tsarist army and emigrated to Turkey after losing the battle of Kbaada (Krasnaya Polyana in today's Sochi), whereas the Tapanta clan fought with the Russian forces.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ethnologue.com
  2. ^ a b Websters-online-dictionary
  3. ^ "About number and composition population of Ukraine by data All-Ukrainian census of the population 2001". Ukraine Census 2001. State Statistics Committee of Ukraine. Retrieved 17 January 2012.