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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



people living mainly in the southern part of the Moldavian SSR and adjacent regions of the Ukrainian SSR, with smaller numbers in the Zaporozh’e Oblast, the Northern Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, and Rumania. Population, 157,000 in the USSR (1970 census) and 5,000 abroad (1970 estimate). The people speak the Gagauz language. Religious Gagauz are members of the Orthodox Church. Some researchers believe the Gagauz to be turkized Bulgars who retained Christianity, but the majority consider them to be descendants of medieval Turks (particularly the Uz and Torks) who had assimilated elements of Slavic (Bulgarian) culture. Most of the Gagauz escaped the Turkish yoke by fleeing from northeastern Bulgaria to Russia, primarily in the early 19th century. Their chief occupations are agriculture and cattle raising; some work in local industries. The contemporary material and spiritual culture of the Gagauz is close to the culture of the surrounding peoples.


Narody Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow, 1964.




the language of the Gagauz, related to the south-western (Ghuz) group of Turkic languages. It is spoken in the southern regions of Moldavia and the Ukraine (former Bessarabia), the Northern Caucasus, and parts of Kazakhstan and Central Asia and, outside the USSR, in northeastern Bulgaria and Rumania. Gagauz is spoken by 152,000 people (1970).

The Gagauz language has been influenced considerably, primarily in vocabulary and syntax, by Bulgarian, Russian, Moldavian, and several other neighboring languages. Basic features of Gagauz include the presence of secondary long vowels, diphthongization, and iotization of high- and mid-rising vowels in initial word position, strong palatalization of most consonants in the environment of front vowels, free word order in the sentence, and well-developed conjunctive relationships. The principal Gagauz dialects are Chadyrlung-Komrat (central) and Vulkanesht (southern). A writing system for the Gagauz language was introduced on July 30, 1957, by decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Moldavian SSR. The Gagauz alphabet, which is based on Russian, includes three additional letters: ä, ö, and ÿ.


Moshkov, V. A. “Narechiia bessarabskikh gagauzov.” In Obraztsy narodnoi literatury tiurkskikh piemen, part 10. Published by Academician V. V. Radlov. St. Petersburg, 1904.
Dmitriev, N. K. Stroi tiurkskikh iazykov. Moscow, 1962. Pages 202-84.
Pokrovskaia, L. A. Grammatika gagauzskogo iazyka. Fonetika i morfologiia. Moscow, 1964.
Zajaczkowski, Wł. Jązyk i folklor gagauzów z Bulgarii. Kraków, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Local restaurants, especially Gok-Oguz - serving Gagauz food from the region of Turkic people in southern Moldova - offer the best of the country on a plate, with tender lamb and marinated vegetables.
Local restaurants, especially Gok-Oguz - serving Gagauz food, from the region of Turkic people in southern Moldova - offer the best of the country on a plate, with tender lamb and marinated vegetables.
The endangered Gagauz language is spoken by a small Turkic ethnic minority in Gagauzia, a constitutionally defined autonomous region in southern Moldova.
(4.) Ghidirim GH, Mishin I, Gagauz I, Vozian M, Cernii A, Cernat M.
Azerbaijani is one of the Turkic language and along with Turkish, Gagauz, Turkmen, it is in the Oguz subgroup of the Altai family.
In the context of Moldova's divided national identity, highly polarized politics, and the presence of two major sources of separatism (one active in Transnistria (9) and one latent in Gagauzia (10)), the Russian World narrative is highly popular among not just ethnic Russians but also Russian speakers of other ethnic backgrounds living in Moldova, including Ukrainians, Gagauz, Bulgarians, and many Moldovans.
The highest saturation value in the Turkic genus has been identified for Turkish (12), Crimean Tatar and Gagauz (11).
The Gagauz minority enjoyed strong support from Turkey and Russia, Bulgarian minority was helped by Bulgaria, Moldovan minority enjoyed support from Romania.
Bu politika analizi kapsamda, ornegin Meskure Yilmaz'in sonradan kitaplastirilmis doktora tezinde ifade olundugu uzere, Turkiye'nin su devletler ve topluluklarla iliskileri incelenmektedir: Turk Cumhuriyetleri (Azerbaycan, Ozbekistan, Kazakistan, Turkmenistan, Kirgizistan), Rusya Federasyonu Icerisinde Yasayan Turkler (Altay, Baskurdistan, Cuvasistan, Dagistan, Gagauz, Hakas, Kabarday Balkar, Saka, Tataristan, Tuva, Karakalpak ozerk cumhuriyetleri), Kibris Turkleri (KKTC), Bati Trakya Turkleri, Bulgaristan Turkleri, Yugoslavya, Makedonya ve Romanya Turkleri, Irak Turkleri, Suriye Turkleri, Kirim Turkleri, Dogu Turkistan Turkleri ve Guney Turkistan Turkleri (Afganistan).
But it must be said again that Turkey also presents a set of priorities that could conflict with Russia's, due to its sway among Turkic peoples related to modern Turks, from the Gagauz minority in Moldova, Crimean Tatars, numerous groups in Russia's restive northern Caucasus, Azeris, Kazakhs, Uyghurs, Kyrghyzs, etc., as well as many of the indigenous nations inhabiting Russia's Siberia and far east who have Mongol ancestry.
One must also remember the Gagauz Turks and the Ahyska Turks in this vein.