Karachais

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Karachais

 

(self-designation, Karachaily), a people related to the Balkars living in the Karachai-Cherkess Autonomous Oblast. Population, 113, 000 (1970 census).

The Karachais speak Karachai-Balkar. The nationality was formed in the 13th and 14th centuries from local mountain tribes, who had lived there since the Bronze Age, and also from Alani, Bulgars, and Kipchaks. Their traditions may be traced in Karachai culture right up to the 20th century. The basic occupation in the past was migratory animal husbandry; settled farming and trades were secondary. Feudal and patriarchal social ties were preserved among the Karachais until the middle of the 19th century. The inclusion of the Karachais in the general economy of Russia in the 19th century facilitated the development of capitalist relations. The October Revolution freed the Karachais from social and national oppression.

The Karachai-Cherkess Autonomous Oblast was formed in January 1922. Under Soviet power, large-scale mechanized agriculture was created, various branches of industry have developed, and a national working class and intelligentsia were formed. A written language was created, and a national literature developed. Violations of socialist legality led in late 1943 and early 1944 to the resettlement of Karachais in various districts of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. A decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated Jan. 9, 1957, restored the national autonomy of the Karachai people and created the Karachai-Cherkess Autonomous Oblast, and almost all the Karachais returned to their native area.

REFERENCES

Ocherki istorii Karachaevo-Cherkesii vol. 1. Stavropol’, 1967.
Alekseeva, E. P. Karachaevtsy i balkartsy—drevnii narod Kavkaza. Cherkessk, 1963.
Narody Kavkaza, vol. 1. Moscow, 1960.
Zasedaniia Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR chetvertogo sozyva: Shestaia sessiia (5–12 fevralia 1957): Stenograficheskii otchet. Moscow, 1957. Pages 577–78, 743–44.

E. N. STUDENETSKAIA

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Notwithstanding the fact that the Cherkess and Kabardins are closely related Circassian peoples living in the north of these republics, and the Karachay and Balkars are Turkic people living in the south, two ethnically divided republics, Karachay-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria, were created as part of the "divide and rule" policy of the Soviet regime.
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It is worth bearing in mind that there is a surviving letter from Lemkin to August Heckscher II from 1951, in which Lemkin used the term genocide to refer to the mass deportations conducted by the Soviet authorities of the Volga Germans in 1941, and of the Crimean Tatars, Chechens, the Ingush, Karachays, and Balkars in 1944 to 1945.
Thus, between 1937 and 1949, thirteen small nationalities -- Koreans, Finns, Germans, Kalmyks, Karachays, Chechens, Ingush, Balkars, Crimean Tatars, Greeks, Meskhetian Turks, Kurds, and Khemshils -- those either with ethnic ties to foreign states or with a history of armed resistance to the tsarist Russian rule, deported into the interior of the Soviet Union, particularly to the sparsely populated areas of Kazakhstan, Soviet Central Asia and Siberia.
The chapters are unbalanced: the author, for example, devotes thirty-two pages to the Germans, eleven to the Koreans, and only five to the Karachays.
Some witnesses told AKIpress that up to 800 people -- ethnic Kyrgyz, Russians and Karachays -- took part in riots.
Two convicts are suspected of murdering Ismail Kochkarov, Chair of Karachays Association in Kyrgyzstan, a source told AKIpress.
Chair of the Karachays Association in Kyrgyzstan Ismail Kochkarov was sentenced to 9 years in prison with confiscation of property according to the ruling of the Bishkek city court of January 12.