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ETNİK KİMLİĞİ ANLAMA VE ETNİK KİMLİK TANIMLAMASI: BİR ORTABATI AMERİKA ŞEHRİNDE YAŞAYAN AHISKA TÜRKLERİ

UNDERSTANDING AND DEFINING ETHNIC IDENTITY: AHISKA/MESKHETIAN TURKS IN A MIDWESTERN AMERICAN CITY

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Abstract (2. Language): 
This study focuses on understanding ethnicity and ethnic identity of Ahiska/Meskhetian Turks in Columbia, Missouri, USA. To understand the participants' ethnic identity, I conducted fieldwork and interviewed nine Ahiska Turks. The study demonstrated that the most important components of Ahiska ethnic identity are religion, language, family, and endogamy. Participants mostly used Ahiska Turks for naming their identity. Ahiska Turks' ethnic identity is not unchangeable and rigid, and it has been changing and redefining in different countries and under different economic and social conditions. Although ancestry, "bone of Ahiska Turkish bone, flesh of Ahiska Turkish flesh, and blood of Ahiska Turkish blood" is important for them, feeling Ahiskan, and obeying cultural norms of their Ahiskan community is more important than having Ahiskan ancestry. Thus, their comments about ethnic identity are more in line with the circumstantialist concept of ethnicity than with the primordialist concept of ethnicity. Also, it is impossible to divide ethnic groups into homogeneous units and analyze them with a "cookie-cutter" approach, and this study showed that common shared heritage is more important than physical characteristics for many ethnic groups in today's world.
Abstract (Original Language): 
Bu çalışma, Columbia, Missouri, ABD'de yaşayan Ahıska Türklerinin etnisite ve etnik kimliğini anlamaya odaklanmıştır. Katılımcıların etnik kimliğini anlamak için, alan araştırması ve dokuz Ahıska Türkü ile görüşme yapılmıştır. Çalışma, Ahıska Türklerinin etnik kimliğinin en önemli bileşenlerinin din, dil, aile ve topluluk içi evlilik olduğunu göstermiştir. Katılımcılar, etnik kimliklerini isimlendirmek için çoğunlukla 'Ahıska Türkleri' ni kullanmışlardır. Ahıska Türkleri etnik kimliği değişmez ve sabit değil; farklı ülkelerde ve farklı sosyal ve ekonomik şartlar altında değişmekte ve yeniden tanımlanmaktadır. Soy bağı, "Ahıska Türkü kemiğinden, dokusundan, kanından" olmak, katılımcılar için önemli olsa da, Ahıska Türkü olarak hissetmek ve topluluğun kültürel normlarına uymak, Ahıska Türkü soy bağına sahip olmaktan daha önemlidir. Böylece, katılımcıların etnik kimlik hakkındaki görüşleri, ilkçi yaklaşımdan daha çok durumsal yaklaşım ile uyumludur. Ayrıca, etnik kimlikleri homojen parçalara ayırmak ve "pasta kalıbı" mantığıyla analiz etmek imkansızdır ve bu çalışma günümüzün dünyasında, birçok etnik grup için paylaşılan ortak mirasın fiziksel özelliklerden daha önemli olduğunu göstermiştir.

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