International Circassian Association demands a Circassian symbol for Sochi 2014

Nalchik -- International Circassian Association complained that Circassians, who are the historical owners of the place where the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be held, are ignored in this process.

In a press conference held in Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic on 27th February, the ICA gave a message to the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, and stated: “The organizing committee ignored the natives of the coast, Circassian culture and history.” In the message sent to Medvedev it was stated that “Circassians lived in the historical Sochi region. However, in all broadcast advertisements the region where the Olympic Games are going to be held is defined as “a part of ancient Colchis”, “a region emancipated from the Ottoman Empire”. The ICA, demanding that the Circassian factors and symbols be used in the official opening ceremony and that the history and culture of the Adyghe people be taken into consideration in the introductory broadcasts about the Olympics, stressed: “As in the example of native symbols used in 2000 in Australia and in 2010 in Canada, it will be expedient to use the symbols of the historical natives in Sochi too.” The message also contained the following: “This will remove the conflict created by radical forces.”

Muhamed Hafıtse of the Adyghe Khase of Kabardino-Balkaria said: “The Russian government should take the realities into consideration. If a native Indian factor is used as the symbol of the Olympics to be held in Vancouver, this must be done for the Sochi Olympics too. The Circassian factor should even have been in Vancouver. While a Kazakh chorus from Krasnodar was incorporated into the Russian committee participating in the closing ceremony of the Olympics, not even a person representing Circassia was included in the committee.”

Source: Agency Caucasus (DÇB, Soçi 2014 için Çerkes sembolü istiyor)

- Обращение Международной Черкесской Ассоциации к Президенту РФ
(Appeal of the International Circassian Association to the President of Russia) - Nat press.