A HYBRID IDENTITIY IN THE CRIMEAN DIASPORA: THE EXAMPLE OF ESKISEHIR’S CRIMEAN TATAR WEDDINGS
The Crimeans who were dispersed over the world after the occupation of Crimea by the Russians in 1783, are now living in a diaspora. The Crimean Tatars in Turkey’s Eskişehir which is the city with the biggest Tatar population in the country, have maintained their diasporic identities by living a withdrawn life for many years. After 1980, the studies about exile were largely carried out around the concepts such as globalism, locality, cultural identities and cultural hybridity. In this respect, it would be significant to examine how the diasporic communities in Turkey constructed their identities and the way this construction adapted to the spirit of the time. Rituals and ceremonies are the most important tools to carry on the diasporic identitiy and to draw the borders of the community so as to exclude the ones who do not belong in it. Therefore this study aims to understand how the social life of the Crimean Tatars changed by examining their wedding rituals between the years 1945 and 2010. In the study, in-depth interviews have been carried out with 25 Crimean Tatars living in Eskişehir whose ages ranged between 45 and 81. Through analyzing these interviews, the wedding ceremonies were examined in the periods of 1945-1970, 1970-1985 and 1985-2014.
Diaspora, Crimean Tatars, cultural identity, hybridization, wedding ceremonies.