2020 August

Traditional dances of CHEST partner countries

Regulations of photo competition on UTW webpage

Uniwersytet Trzeciego Wieku w Białymstoku

Route: Constantinople – Trakai (Silhouette of hope blowing softly from the farland) by Hakki Bilgen

Route: Constantinople – Trakai (Silhouette of hope blowing softly from the farland)

This article is about a community branch of Judaism who still continue to exist as a part of some countries in Eastern Europe. They are Karaims. The aim of this study is to contribute the cultural heritage route of Jews. This time, the direction of the route is towards to Europe. And again, they changed lands, looking at the silhouette of hope blowing softly from a farland.

In the 10th century, as claimed, the Byzantine Emperor judged to exile a community of Jews who were living in Constantinople and Anatolia to Crimea. In these years, the eastern Crimea was conquered by Kievan Rus Principality. Meanwhile the different groups of Turkic peoples were continuing to migrate to that land since 8th century. For that reason, the Turkish language had begun to become more dominant. As expected, the exiled Jews started to speak Turkish too. Their language evolved and now is accepted [1, 2] as a member of western Kipchak of Turkish languages family. The name of this community is Karaims. However, the reason of using this word for their community is not so clear. They consequently became a Turkish-speaking community, believing in the Karaim sect of Judaism. And also, many Turkish people accepted to Karaism.

After many years in 14th century, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Vytautas the Great, brought several hundred families of Karaim and Tatar peoples to Lithuania. In the year of 2020, although their world population has diminished, the Karaims are still keep their existence in Turkey, Lithuania, Poland and Crimea. They are called as Karay in Istanbul, Karaimai in Vilnius, Karaimi in Warsaw and Qaray in Crimea.

Read more in file Route_Karaimai…..

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