The Chechens and Kurds of Kazakhstan between Historical and Second Homelands Open Access Deposited
Almost all minority ethnic groups in Kazakhstan are immigrants. This means that in addition to their current place of residence, Kazakhstan (their “Second Homeland”), they also have a place of origin (their “Historical Homeland”). The leadership of the country has approached this situation, which offers opportunities as well as dan- gers, by explicitly exhorting the official ethnic representations of minorities to nur- ture contacts with their Historical Homelands. In this article the examples of the Chechens and Kurds will be used to show how the representations of both ethnici- ties actively and politically pursued this task. For both groups, representing a nation without an independent state, a fourth actor must be added to the “triangle nexus” familiar from diaspora studies, respectively Russia and Turkey, whose positions the Kazakhstani government cannot simply disregard. What emerges from the study is the strong emotional link of both minorities’ representatives with Kazakhstan as their Second Homeland.
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