About Us5 January 2022 2022-05-31 14:57
The foundation of the Center for Circassian Studies (CCS) is the final phase of a process that began almost thirty years ago in Turkey and involved production of academic and semi-academic works as well as translating from various languages into Turkish of materials related to Circassians. It started as individual endeavours but later continued as an organised team work.
The first attempt to formalise these efforts was made in 2003 when the online network Circassianacademia was set up to bring together researchers and academics from around the world working on Circassian-related subjects to cultivate collaboration and cooperation. As intended, Circassianacademia was instrumental in making Circassian studies a unique and distinctive component of the emerging Caucasian and Eurasian studies by organising its own academic events and having its members participating in many international seminars and conferences that took places in Turkey, Europe, the Caucasus and the US.
The next step was the setting up of the Circassian Research Group in 2011 by Dr Murat Topcu-Papsu and Dr Zeynel Abidin Besleney. The group organised its first event, a panel discussion entitled “Diaspora Politics: Circassians of Turkey”, in April of the same year in Istanbul, followed by similar events in the ensuing years. In addition to organising and participating in academic activities, the group also collaborated with Circassian NGOs by offering online and offline short educational certificate programmes entitled “Lectures on the Caucasus and Circassian studies” for which it partnered with Istanbul Caucasian Cultural Association in 2016 and Circassian Association of Ankara in 2020.
To bring this process to its logical conclusion, various academics, researchers and leading Circassian community activists from various Circassian NGOs in Turkey founded the Center for Circassian Studies that was formally registered as a non-profit association in August 2021.
The peer-reviewed multi-lingual scholarly “The Journal of Caucasian Studies (JOCAS)”, which was founded in 2015 and has been published online and offline since then, is also an integral part of the CCS and its academic activities. www.circassianstudies.org is the official websites of the center.
Building on the accumulated experiences of the past three decades and drawing on its wide network of researchers and academics, the CCS aims to become the leading hub outside Circassia for the production and dissemination of academic and semi-academic works and policy papers on Circassian studies.