Ahıska Turks and Koreans in post-Soviet Kazakstan and Uzbekistan : the making of diaspora identity and culture
Oh, Chong Jin
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Please cite this item using this persistent URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/11693/29933
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of the newly independent governments in Central Asia aimed at nationalizing or indigenizing the territories under their control and rectifying what many saw as decades of dominance by foreign actors. These states made great efforts to undertake various nation-building projects. For individuals in many nationalizing states in Central Asia, knowledge of the titular language became increasingly important in order to obtain, maintain and advance their career and position in the society. In other words, members of the titular nations had somewhere to go and settle after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the non-titular groups, which included group such as the Jews, the Volga Germans, the Koreans, the Crimean Tatars, Ahıska Turks, had nowhere to go. These diasporas found themselves in the middle of nowhere. These ethnic minorities or diasporas are, perhaps, the main losers in the nation-building process in post-Soviet Central Asia due to their powerlessness and vulnerability. As peoples deported by the Soviet regime, these groups were forced to migrate against their will. By using Korean and Ahıska Turkish diasporas in Uzbekistan and Kazakstan as cases, this study examines, to some extent, how diasporas are influenced by nationalizing states in Central Asia. It attempts to inquire into the factors which influence the existence, nature and intensity of ethno-nationalism in the diasporas’ context. Therefore, it analyzes both the existence and transmission of ethno-nationalism between the diasporas’ settings and homelands and specifically will deal with the transmission of ethno-nationalist sentiments across diasporas’ generations. Above all, the task of this inquiry is to examine the sources of diversity within diaspora relations and to move toward an analysis of the patterns of interaction among trans-border ethnic groups, their traditional ethnic homelands, and the states in which they reside. The comparative content of this investigation will show considerable variations in these practices in different settings and groupings.